Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib got into a heated disagreement with Republican North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows during Michael Cohen’s Wednesday afternoon testimony.
Meadows had invited Lynn Patton, a black woman who oversees public housing in New York and New Jersey for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to the hearing. Some suggested the invitation was actually an attempt to push back on Cohen’s claim that President Donald Trump is a racist. (RELATED: Team Trump Rips Michael Cohen Ahead Of Testimony)
“Lynne Patton says she would not work for a man who is racist,” Meadows said, in response to Cohen’s accusation of racism. “She disagrees with you.”
Then, during Tlaib’s time to question Cohen, she addressed Meadows’ decision to invite Patton.
She began, “Just to make a note Mr. Chairman, just because someone has a person of color, a black person, working for them does not mean they aren’t racist. And it is insensitive that some would even say it’s — the fact that someone would actually use a prop, a black woman in this chamber, in this committee is alone racist in itself.”
Meadows then interrupted her, but Tlaib continued.
He pushed back again, “Mr. Chairman, I ask that her words when she is referring to an individual member of this body be taken down and stricken from the record. I’m sure she didn’t intend to do this. But if anyone knows my record as it relates it should be you, Mr. Chairman.”
After some bickering, Chairman Elijah Cummings asked if Tlaib wanted to rephrase her statement, but she simply repeated her previous prepared statement.
Cohen just sitting there during the Rashida Tlaib/Mark Meadows exchange over accusations that Meadows did a racist thing… pic.twitter.com/NZHEBrLn2g
— Emily Larsen (@emilyelarsen) February 27, 2019
“I’m just saying that’s what I believe to have happened. As a person of color in this committee that’s how I felt at that moment. I wanted to express that, but I am not calling the gentleman, Mr. Meadows, a racist for doing so. I’m saying that in itself it is a racist act,” Tlaib stated.
“Mr. Chairman, there’s nothing more personal to me than my relationship. My nieces and nephews are people of color. Not many people know that. You know that Mr. Chairman,” Meadows responded. “To indicate that I asked someone who is a personal friend of the Trump family who has worked for him, who knows this particular individual, that she’s coming in to be a prop. It’s racist to suggest that I ask her to come in here for that reason.”