Meadows embroiled in Trump racism debate
New York – From the start of Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony on Feb. 27, President Donald Trump’s views on race took center stage.
Trump’s former attorney did not mince words, flat-out calling his former boss “a racist” who believed “black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid.”
“Mr. Trump is a racist. The country has seen Mr. Trump court white supremacists and bigots,” Cohen said in his opening remarks.
Race and racism came up time and again during the televised hearing, which was chaired by an African-American man and saw several freshman lawmakers of color ask questions.
Cohen, who previously pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, told the House Oversight Committee that he continued to work for Trump despite a history of racist comments. Several Republican lawmakers said Cohen is a perpetual liar who cannot be trusted.
“I’ve talked to the president over 300 times,” said U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). “I’ve not heard one time a racist comment out of his mouth in private. So how do you reconcile it? Do you have proof of those conversations?”
In perhaps the day’s most heated exchange, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) took issue, as did others before her, with Meadows bringing in Trump administration worker Lynne Patton, a black woman, to the hearing. Meadows referenced Patton, who works at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, in his questioning.
The episode quickly became fodder for social media, both in support of Tlaib’s comments and in opposition. Many were outraged and accused Meadows of throwing out the “I have a black friend” argument to refute the idea that he is racist. He cited having nieces and nephews of color, and his friendship with Cummings “that’s not based on color.”
Others referenced a video of Meadows on the campaign trail in 2012, where he made comments about former President Barack Obama. “What we’re going to do is take back our country,” Meadows said in the video. “2012 is the time that we’re going to send Mr. Obama home to Kenya or wherever it is.”