Reps. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsAllies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US prepares vaccine booster plan House panel probing Jan. 6 attack seeks Trump records MORE (R-N.C.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocratic bill would force Fed to defund fossil fuels Democrats brace for battle on Biden's .5 trillion spending plan 'Squad' members call on Biden to shut down Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota MORE (D-Mich.) hugged on the House floor Thursday, one day after clashing over allegations of racism during a fiery moment at Michael Cohen's House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing.
Meadows and Tlaib engaged in a one-on-one conversation on the floor during votes Thursday to clear the air about Wednesday's incident, when Tlaib criticized Meadows for bringing an African-American Trump administration official to the hearing to refute allegations the president is racist.
Blow up Twitter: Meadows and Tlaib just hugged on House floor and are engaged in a long, cordial talk.— Paul Kane (@pkcapitol) February 28, 2019
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-PowellDebbie Mucarsel-PowellNation's fraught politics leads to fear, scars and exits 'Blue wave' Democrats eye comebacks after losing reelection Stephanie Murphy won't run for Senate seat in Florida next year MORE (D-Fla.) said she witnessed the exchange and described it as genuine.
I was right in the middle of it when it happened and Meadows seemed very genuine! There is hope— Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@RepDMP) February 28, 2019
Tlaib, who earned headlines in January for telling supporters the House was going to "impeach the motherf---er" in reference to Trump, accused Meadows on Wednesday of using the official as a prop.
"She said she didn't mean it yesterday, so there was no need to apologize," Meadows, the leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told reporters afterward. "I wanted her to know and she wanted me to know that our relationship is one that will hopefully provide real good results going forward."
"I certainly respect the fact that she is representing 750,000 people just like I am. And so it's important for all 435 of us to show respect and civility to each other, regardless of our differences on policy."
A spokesman for Tlaib didn't immediately return a request for comment.
During Wednesday's hearing, Tlaib took issue with Meadows bringing Trump administration staffer Lynne Patton to the hearing as a way to deflect accusations of racism.
"Just because someone has a person of color, a black person, working for them does not mean they aren't racist," said Tlaib, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress.
"And it is insensitive ... the fact that someone would actually use a prop, a black woman, in this chamber, in this committee, is alone racist in itself," Tlaib said.
Meadows asked for her comments to be stricken from the record and rejected Tlaib's argument.
"There’s nothing more personal to me than my relationship — my nieces and nephews are people of color. Not many people know that," Meadows said.
"And to indicate that I asked someone who is a personal friend of the Trump family, who has worked for him, who knows this particular individual — that she’s coming in to be a prop. It’s racist to suggest that I asked her to come in here for that reason," he said.
Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsFormer GOP congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik suing Candace Owens for defamation Former Cummings staffer unveils congressional bid McCarthy, GOP face a delicate dance on Jan. 6 committee MORE (D-Md.), who is black, then intervened.
“I could see and feel your pain. I feel it,” Cummings told Meadows. “And so, and I don’t think Ms. Tlaib intended to cause you that, that kind of pain and that kind of frustration.”
Tlaib then clarified her comments and said she wasn't calling Meadows a racist.
“As everybody knows in this chamber, I’m pretty direct, so I, if I wanted to say that, I would have,” Tlaib said. “But that’s not what I said.”
Patton on Thursday denied the suggestion that she was used as a "prop" at the hearing.
“I was not there to represent an entire race of people. I was there to represent one man,” Patton told "Fox & Friends."
After the clash with Tlaib, a video surfaced of Meadows saying in 2012 that it was "the time that we're going to send Mr. Obama home to Kenya or wherever it is."
Meadows won election to the House that year, while then-President Obama won reelection.
When asked about the video Thursday, Meadows called it "old news."
"I've addressed that dozens of times and candidly apologized for that a number of times. It was when I was running for office and answered a question — I actually had just gotten back from Kenya. We had been doing mission work in Kenya, so anybody who knows me knows that I really show respect regardless of race or gender," Meadows told reporters outside the House chamber.