Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) on Wednesday brought Trump administration staffer Lynne Patton, who is black, to Michael Cohen’s testimony to push back against his allegations that the president is a 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 told President Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer.
“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,” the conservative Republican added.
Cohen during his testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee noted that he is responsible for Patton joining the Trump Organization and for “the job she currently holds” at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Meadows said he’s spoken with Trump “over 300 times” and has not heard any racist comments from the president. He demanded that Cohen provide proof of his allegation, including whether he had recordings.
“No, sir,” Cohen responded, acknowledging that he has recorded other conversations.
“Do you have proof?” Meadows asked.
“Ask Ms. Patton how many people who are black are executives at the Trump Organization,” Cohen said. “And the answer is zero.”
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) invokes Lynne Patton, an African-American HUD official seated behind Meadows in hearing room, to challenge Michael Cohen’s assertion that Pres. Trump “is a racist” https://t.co/VqKQtP5wOl pic.twitter.com/VQE0uFq5Hs
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) February 27, 2019
Cohen said in his opening statement before the congressional panel that Trump is a “racist” and a “conman.”
Here’s what Cohen said in his prepared testimony:
He cited past claims that the president said black people “are too stupid to vote” for him and said Trump made racist comments on the set of “The Apprentice.”
Donald Trump is a racist. The country has seen Mr. Trump court white supremacists and bigots. You have heard him call poorer countries “shitholes.”
In private, he is even worse.
He once asked me if I 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.
While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way.
And, he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid.
Many of the president’s critics point to his vocal role in pushing the “birther” conspiracy theory that former President Obama was not born in the U.S. as proof of his racism, as well as his comments that “both sides” were to blame for violence at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Cohen on claim that Trump is racist: “While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way. And, he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid” https://t.co/v4EeW4fQiI pic.twitter.com/XwCePBCC3G
— CNN (@CNN) February 27, 2019