Mikulski on Warren flap: Different rules apply to women

Former Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Robert Mueller's forgotten surveillance crime spree Clinton: White House slow-walking Russia sanctions MORE criticized the GOP on Thursday for silencing Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump's SEC may negate investors' ability to fight securities fraud Schatz's ignorance of our Anglo-American legal heritage illustrates problem with government Dems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee MORE (D-Mass.) during the confirmation debate over President Trump's nominee for attorney general.

The Maryland Democrat, who served the longest tenure of any woman in Congress, said women in the upper chamber are subject to different rules than men are.

"When a woman stands up, she is told to shut up and sit down. Now this is going to have a long-lasting effect, because the people who marched watched this. But I will tell you that the women are tired that different rules are applied to us in a different way," Mikulski told CNN 

Warren was barred from speaking on the Senate floor on Tuesday evening after she read a 1986 letter by Coretta Scott King that was critical of Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsUnder pressure, Trump shifts blame for Russia intrusion Overnight Tech: Judge blocks AT&T request for DOJ communications | Facebook VP apologizes for tweets about Mueller probe | Tech wants Treasury to fight EU tax proposal Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand MORE, a member of the Senate at the time who was later confirmed as attorney general. He was sworn in on Thursday morning.

"Senator Warren was reading from a historic record, from quoting a historic person, it was relevant, it was reasonable, and I think whenever women stand up — and particularly reading now a letter from a woman of color — they are told to shut up and sit down," Mikulski said. 

Some of Warren's male colleagues in the Senate Democratic caucus later read the same letter from the Senate floor without punishment.

"When the men of the Senate, the Democratic men, read their Coretta Scott King letter ... they were standing up for the Senate, and they were also standing up for Coretta Scott King," Mikulski said.