Tlaib, Meadows clash over alleged 'racist act' at Cohen hearing

Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data House Democrats question DHS over using facial recognition tech on US citizens MORE (D-Mich.) and Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsRep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump House Oversight votes to hold Barr, Ross in contempt MORE (R-N.C.) clashed during Michael Cohen's congressional hearing on Wednesday when she condemned as a "racist act" his use of a statement by a single black woman to disprove allegations of racism against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE

"Just because someone has a person of color, a black person working for them does not mean that they aren't racist," Tlaib said at the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing.

"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 continued, getting emotional.

Meadows had invited Lynne Patton, a Trump administration staffer, who is black, to the hearing to push back against Cohen's allegations during his testimony that the president is a racist.

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Meadows immediately responded to Tlaib, asking that her comments be stricken from the record as he believed it was an attack on him.

The freshman Democrat then repeated her comments, and clarified that she wasn't accusing Meadows of being a racist but that she believed it was a "racist act" to bring a black woman to the hearing to counter allegations of racism against Trump.

"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 has worked for this particulate individual … that’s she’s coming in to be a prop, it’s racist to suggest that I asked her to come in for that reason," he said.

“She came in because she felt like the president was being falsely accused,” Meadows added.

The Freedom Caucus head then addressed Oversight Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsHouse Democrats question DHS over using facial recognition tech on US citizens House Democrats question DHS over using facial recognition tech on US citizens Democrats lash out at Trump's bombshell remarks MORE (D-Md.), who is black, saying that he and Cummings “have a personal relationship that’s not based on color and to even go down this direction is wrong.”

“If there’s anyone who is sensitive in regard to race, it’s me, son of former sharecroppers who were basically slaves, so I get it,” Cummings said.

The chairman said he didn’t believe that Tlaib was calling Meadows a racist.

“I could see and feel your pain, I feel it,” Cummings told the North Carolina Republican. “And so I don’t think Ms. Tlaib intended to cause you that, that kind of pain and frustration.”

Tlaib again clarified her comments, repeating her statement that she was not calling Meadows a racist.

“As everybody knows in this chamber, I’m pretty direct. If I wanted to say that I would have,” she said. “But that’s not what I said.”