Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib may have been the last lawmaker to question Michael Cohen during today’s mind-numbingly long hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, but it ended up being absolutely worth the wait.
After initially offering a basic overview of Cohen’s testimony, and the allegations of crimes committed by President Donald Trump, Tlaib attacked congressional Republicans’ bizarre use of Housing and Urban Development regional director and former Trump Organization employee Lynne Patton in an attempt to prove that Trump himself is not racist. (He is.)
“Just because someone has a person of color, a black person working for them does not mean that they aren’t racist” Tlaib said.
“The fact that someone would actually use a prop, a black woman, in this chamber, in this committee, is alone racist in itself.” Tlaib added, prompting North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows to immediately interrupt her and demand that her words be taken back.
“As a person of color in this committee, that’s how I felt at that moment, and I wanted to express that. But I am not calling that gentleman, Mr. Meadows, a racist for doing so. I am saying that in itself, it is a racist act,” Tlaib retorted.
“There is nothing more personal to me than my relationship—my nieces and nephews are people of color,” Meadows shot back.
When Tlaib refused to retract her statement committee chair Rep. Elijah Cummings stepped in to play peacemaker, calling Meadows one of his best friends, and clarifying that Tlaib had not actually called him, personally, a racist.
It was a bizarre, frustrating bit of political theater, and the perfectly perverse encapsulation of this whole insane hearing.