Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib suggested Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows was racist during testimony by Michael Cohen on Wednesday.
Tlaib took issue with Meadows introduction of Lynne Patton, a top Trump housing official who is black, as a means to push back on Cohen’s narrative that the President is a racist.
“Lynne Patton says she would not work for a man who is racist,” Meadows said following Cohen’s prepared remarks. “She disagrees with you.”
Tlaib called the display itself an act of racism.
“Just because someone has a person of color, a black person, working for them does not mean they aren’t racist and … the fact someone would actually use a prop, a black woman in this chamber, in this committee is alone racist in itself,” Tlaib claimed, taking a clear shot at Meadows.
(Side note on Cohen – Why do scorned former associates of the President always make baseless claims of racism? Did they not mind working with a racist while they were in his circle? And what does that say about them?)
Meadows Was Furious
Meadows immediately interjected and demanded Tlaib’s comments be stricken from the record, noting his own nieces and nephews are persons of color.
“Mr. Chairman, I ask that her words, when she’s referring to an individual member of this body, be taken down and stricken from the record,” he demanded.
Tlaib hesitantly retracted but continued to refer to using Patton as a defense of the President a “racist act.”
“I am not calling the gentleman, Mr. Meadows a racist,” she claimed, having just called the gentleman racist. “I’m saying that in itself it is a racist act.”
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
“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,” Meadows would add.
Cummings Defends Meadows
Meadows had help from what some might consider an unlikely source – Chairman Elijah Cummings.
Upon hearing Tlaib’s comments, Cummings immediately jumped in and checked to see if she wanted to rephrase what she was insinuating.
“Excuse me would you like to rephrase that statement Mrs. Tlaib?” he asked before noting that he and Meadows are actually best friends.
“Of all the people on this committee, I’ve said it and gotten in trouble for it but you are one of my best friends,” Cummings said. “I could see and feel your pain. I feel it. And I don’t think Ms. Tlaib intended to cause you that, that kind of pain and that kind of frustration.”
Here’s the Tlaib Meadows exchange pic.twitter.com/HbbhuVgCJt
— Jason K. Morrell (@CNNJason) February 27, 2019
“I don’t mind saying that not only is [Cummings] a friend,” Meadows would later tell Fox News host Sean Hannity, “but he was a gentleman today in the way that he came to my defense.”