San Diego developer Doug Manchester, who is President Trump’s nominee to become U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas, called that island nation and British Commonwealth member a “protectorate” of the United States.

Manchester’s remarks came during questioning by Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee.

“In your conversations with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff, you described the Bahamas as a protectorate of the United States. Is that a view that you believe is part of our relationship?” asked Menendez.

“Well certainly, for all intents and purposes, we believe that it is a protectorate,” said Manchester, who was a major fundraiser for Trump’s campaign.

The Bahamas is an independent country that shares a head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, with the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth nations.

Manchester noted the presence of Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security officers in explaining his views on the Bahamas.

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