A black woman — whose attendance at the Michael Cohen hearing on Wednesday was designed to disprove Cohen’s claims that President Donald Trump made racist comments — was denigrated as a “prop” by one Democratic lawmaker.
During the House Oversight Committee hearing, North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Meadows asked Lynne Patton, a Housing and Urban Development employee, to stand before the committee to disprove claims of Trump’s racism. Patton, who is black, formerly worked for the Trump Organization.
In advance of the hearing, she had posted a condemnation of Cohen on Instagram.
“I am sad that Michael would — once again, on a world stage — levy unsubstantiated claims — particularly those of bigotry and racism — against a man who has single-handedly helped raise five of the most unbiased and open-minded children I’ve ever known. Four of whom I count among my very best friends, to date,” she wrote.
“I stated this in my viral video back in 2015 and I’ll say it again: As the daughter of a man born in Birmingham, Alabama, there is no amount of money in the world that would make me work for a man who I thought harbored bigoted or racist ideologies,” she wrote.
She also slammed Cohen for betraying Trump.
“I am sad that Michael has elected to leverage his own personal illegal activities into nothing more than political theater this week with the sole partisan purpose to embarrass a sitting President with unfounded personal or professional gossip. I am sad that Michael would turn his back on a man to whom he has repeatedly said he owes everything in the hope of a reduced prison sentence,” she wrote.
Meadows referenced that comment in introducing her.
“I asked Lynne to come today in her personal capacity to actually shed some light,” Meadows said, according to The New York Times. “She says that as a daughter of a man born in Birmingham, Alabama, that there is no way that she would work for an individual who was racist.”
That pushed Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib over the edge.
“Just because someone has a person of color, a black person working for them does not mean they aren’t racist,” Tlaib said.
“And it is insensitive that some would even say — the fact that some would actually use a prop, a black woman in this chamber in this committee is alone racist in itself.”
Meadows roared out his objection to all but being branded a racist.
“Mr. Chairman I ask that her words be taken down!” Meadows said to Chair Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, who is black. “The rules are clear!”
Meadows noted his “nieces and nephews are people of color.”
“You’re one of my best friends,” Cummings said to Meadows. “And I can see and I feel your pain, and I don’t think Ms. Tlaib intended to cause you that, that kind of pain.”
Tlaib said her intent was not to call Meadows racist.
“As everybody knows in this chamber, I’m pretty direct,” Tlaib said. “So if I wanted to say that, I would have.”
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