Black Democratic lawmaker slams GOP colleague for trying to ‘prop up one member of our race’ to prove Trump isn’t racist

  • Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence went after GOP Rep. Mark Meadows for bringing Lynne Patton, a Trump administration employee, to Michael Cohen’s testimony on Wednesday.
  • Meadows brought Patton, who is black, to make the case Trump isn’t racist.
  • During the hearing, Lawrence said, “I just want to put on the record, as being a black American and having endured the public comments of racism from the sitting president, as being a black person, I can only imagine what’s being said in private.”
  • Lawrence added, “To prop up one member of our race and to say that nullifies it is totally insulting.”
  • Follow along with all the updates from Cohen’s testimony here.

Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence of Michigan ripped into her Republican colleague Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina for bringing a black woman who works in the Trump administration to Michael Cohen’s testimony on Wednesday to prove the president isn’t racist.

Lawrence said that given the things President Donald Trump has said about minorities publicly, she can “only imagine” what he’s said privately.

“I just want to put on the record, as being a black American and having endured the public comments of racism from the sitting president, as being a black person, I can only imagine what’s being said in private,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence added, “To prop up one member of our race and to say that nullifies it is totally insulting.”

Meadows invited Lynne Patton, who works in the Department of Housing and Urban Development and has longtime ties to Trump, as his guest to Cohen’s testimony. During Wednesday’s hearing, Meadows pointed to Patton as evidence Trump cannot be racist.

“[Patton] says that as a daughter of a man born in Birmingham, Alabama, that there is no way that she would work for an individual who was racist,” Meadows said to Cohen. “How do you reconcile the two of those?”

In response, Cohen said, “As neither should I as the son of a Holocaust survivor.”

Earlier in the day, Cohen said Trump “is a racist” who once asked him if he “could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a ‘shithole.’ This was when Barack Obama was President of the United States.”

Cohen added that Trump once told him “black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid. And yet I continued to work for him.”

Patton on Wednesday afternoon rejected Cohen’s comments in an interview with PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor.

“To me, today was not about the colour of my skin,” Patton said. “Today was about two people who know the president equally and who disagree.”

Similarly, Meadows in a statement on Wednesday afternoon said, “We invited Lynne in her personal capacity 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 count from someone not going to prison for lying to Congress, among other crimes.”

Trump has been decried as racist for years, particularly due to his central role in perpetuating a conspiracy theory about former President Barack Obama’s place of birth. His rhetoric and policies as president, especially regarding immigrants, have compounded these views.

Read more about Cohen’s testimony:

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