News & Politics

Rep. Tlaib Blows Up Cohen Hearing: It Was a 'Racist Act' for a Republican to Bring a Black 'Prop'

Rep. Tlaib Blows Up Cohen Hearing: It Was a 'Racist Act'  for a Republican to Bring a Black 'Prop'
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. questions Michael Cohen during a House Oversight and Reform Committee, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) has been trouble since the day she took office — she infamously screeched, “We’re gonna impeach the motherf**er” hours after she was sworn in as a member of Congress, vowing to take down President Trump. Tlaib shows no signs of taking her foot off the gas.


During today’s House Oversight Committee’s interrogation of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen, Tlaib suggested that Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) is a racist for bringing a black “prop” to the hearing:

“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,” Tlaib said. “It is insensitive — 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 was understandably outraged at the charge and demanded to have Tlaib’s remarks stricken from the congressional record.

Although she refused to name names, it was pretty clear that the “prop” Tlaib was referring to was Trump administration staffer Lynn Patton, who had attended the hearing at the behest of Meadows.

Tlaib’s sneaky attempt to call Meadows a racist fell flat when Chairman Cummings stopped the hearing to get clarification on the statement and allow Meadows to defend himself against the charge. “Let me clear this up,” Cummings said.


When Tlaib attempted to clarify, she dug herself a deeper hole, claiming that Meadows committed a “racist act” but she wasn’t actually calling him a racist. (She sounded an awful lot like Cohen, who declared earlier in the hearing that although he had lied, that didn’t make him a liar.)

A visibly upset Meadows pushed back against the accusation: “There’s nothing more personal to me than my relationship… my nieces and nephews are people of color. Not many people know that.”

“And to indicate that I asked someone who is a personal friend of the Trump family, who has worked for him, who knows this particulate individual, that she’s coming in to be a prop… it’s racist to suggest that I asked her to come in here for that reason,” he said. “She came in because she felt like the president of the United States was getting falsely accused.”

Meadows, head of the House Freedom Caucus, revealed that he and Cummings are close friends; the chairman agreed, declaring that the North Carolina congressman is one of his “best friends.”

“If there’s anyone who is sensitive in regard to race it’s me, son of former sharecroppers that were basically slaves, so I get it,” Cummings said.

“I could see and feel your pain. I feel it,” Cummings told Meadows. “And so —and I don’t think Ms. Tlaib intended to cause you that… that kind of pain and frustration.”


“As everybody knows in this chamber, I’m pretty direct,” Tlaib said. “So if I wanted to say that [Meadows is a racist] I would have. But that’s not what I said.”

Meadows thanked Cummings for addressing the issue and withdrew his demand to have the statement stricken from the record.

Cummings concluded the hearing with an angry speech, declaring that Congress is “better than this.”

After today’s congressional circus, that statement is awfully hard to defend.

Follow me on Twitter @pbolyard


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