“This is not the resume of a prop.”
During the Wednesday testimony of President Donald Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib took exception to what she called “racist” tactics by Republicans.
At issue was the attendance of Trump associate Lynne Patton, a black Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official invited by Rep. Mark Meadows to testify on the president’s behalf.
After Cohen accused Trump of racism, Meadows asked Patton to stand behind him during his defense of of the president.
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“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,” Meadows told Cohen, referring to Patton.
Later in the hearing, Rep. Tlaib charged Meadows with using Patton as a “prop.”
“Just because someone has a person of color — a black person — working for them, does not mean they aren’t racist,” Tlaib said. “The fact that someone would actually use a prop — a black woman — in this chamber is alone racist in itself,” the freshmen representative continued.
An outraged Meadows immediately cut in, asking committee Chairman Elijah Cummings to strike Tlaib’s remarks from the record. House rules forbid lawmakers from impugning another lawmakers’s motives or insulting them personally.
Chairman Cummings intervened in Meadows’ defense, asking Tlaib to clarify her remarks. The Michigan representative clarified that she was not calling Meadows racist, only describing his behavior as racist.
In a Thursday morning interview with Fox News, Patton dismissed charges of tokenism.
“I was not there to represent an entire race of people. I was there to represent one man,” Patton said.
She also took to Instagram to defend her appearance before the committee.
“Today a race card was played. But not by Congressman Mark Meadows,” she wrote. “But rather by those on the House Oversight Committee who sadly placed more credence on the word of a self-confessed convicted perjurer, than that of a highly-educated black woman who rose up the ranks of one of the most recognized global real-estate companies in the world, spoke before 25 million people at the Republican National Convention and now successfully oversees the largest HUD program office in the country.”
“That is not the resume of a prop,” Patton added.
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