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American International Group president and CEO Robert Benmosche is under heavy fire from a senior Maryland Democratic congressman after comparing the intense criticism of bonus payments made in 2009 to AIG Financial Products executives to the lynching of blacks during the civil rights battles of several decades ago.

Benmosche has an apology for the remarks: “It was a poor choice of words. I never meant to offend anyone by it,” Benmosche said through a spokesman in response to a call for his resignation by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

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