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Karen Bass, Biden's Potential VP Pick, Responds to Video of Her Praising Scientology

Newsweek logo Newsweek 8/1/2020 Benjamin Fearnow
a statue of Karen Bass in a suit and tie: California Congresswoman Karen Bass, a top contender to be former Vice President Joe Biden's running mate, responded to criticism over her past praise of the Church of Scientology. © Screenshot: Scientology | YouTube California Congresswoman Karen Bass, a top contender to be former Vice President Joe Biden's running mate, responded to criticism over her past praise of the Church of Scientology.

California Congresswoman Karen Bass, a top contender to be presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's running mate, responded to criticism over her past praise of the Church of Scientology.

Biden's potential vice presidential pick issued a statement Saturday morning that clarified remarks she made at a 2010 ribbon-cutting ceremony for a Los Angeles Scientology building. At that event, Bass addressed thousands of Scientologists and guests and made several statements that offered praise of Scientology.

Responding to the criticism a decade later, Bass said she attends a Baptist church and that her comments to the Scientology community was simply a message of "respecting one another's views."

"Just so you all know, I proudly worship at First New Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in South L.A.," Bass wrote in a Saturday statement, responding to video which surfaced of her comments this week.

"Ten years ago, I attended a new building opening in my district and spoke to what I think all of us believe in - respect for one another's views, to treat all people with respect, and to fight against oppression wherever we find it. I found an area of agreement in their beliefs - where all people, of whatever race, color, or creed are created with equal rights, which is what my remarks were all about."

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"Since then, published first-hand accounts in books, interviews and documentaries have exposed this group. Everyone is now aware of the allegations against Scientology," Bass continued.

At the time, Bass was the Speaker Emeritus of the California State Assembly.

This story is breaking and will be updated shortly.

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