Dem blasts Meadows for bringing black Trump official to challenge racism accusations

Rep. Brenda LawrenceBrenda Lulenar LawrenceHillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Lawmakers, tech set for clash over AI Bipartisan group asks DHS, ICE to halt deportations of Iraqi nationals MORE (D-Mich.) on Wednesday blasted Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Mueller report poses new test for Dems Washington in frenzy over release of Mueller report MORE (R-N.C.) for citing a black official from the Trump administration to challenge allegations that President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction MORE is racist.

Lawrence called it "insulting" that Meadows used the testimony of one person, Department of Housing and Urban Development staffer Lynne Patton, in an attempt to nullify those accusations. 

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“Having endured the public comments of racism from the sitting president, being a black person, I can only imagine what is being said in private. To prop up one member of our entire race of black people and say that that nullifies that is totally insulting," Lawrence said during Wednesday's House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing, which featured testimony from former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, said in his opening statement Wednesday that Trump is a "racist" and a "conman."

Later on Wednesday, Meadows introduced into the record a statement from Patton in which she denied that Trump is racist.

The statement was not read aloud, but Meadows said that Patton said she would not work "for an individual who was racist."

"You made some very demeaning comments about the president that Ms. Patton doesn’t agree with. In fact, it has to do with your claim of racism," Meadows said to Cohen. "She says that, as a daughter of a man born in Birmingham, Ala., that there is no way that she would work for an individual who was racist."

Ben Williamson, a spokesman for Meadows, said in a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday that Patton was invited “to offer her experiences as someone who has known both Mr. Cohen and the Trump family for many years.”

“We felt it was important for the committee to hear an account from someone not going to prison for lying to Congress, among other crimes," Williamson added. 

— Updated 4:10 p.m.