In an effort to refute Michael Cohen’s allegations of racism by President Donald Trump during his testimony on Wednesday before members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Wednesday, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) brought out Lynne Patton, a Black woman and Trump-appointee, as proof that the President likes the Blacks.
Patton, who is Trump’s appointee serving as the New York–New Jersey regional administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), stood silently behind Meadows as he sought to explain his reasoning for bringing her out.
“I asked Lynne to come today in her personal capacity to actually shed some light,” Meadows said. “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. She says as a daughter of a man born in Birmingham, Alabama, that there is no way that she would work for an individual who was a racist.”
Meadows went on to state that Trump could not be racist because he himself had met with the President more than “300 times” and never heard an utter of anything racist.
Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, gave anticipated and well-watched testimony before the House committee explaining his decade-long relationship with Trump and answering an array of questions – from allegations of racism to wide-sweeping corruption to the president’s secretive financial dealings to collusion with Russia to win the election.
In his opening statement, Cohen said he personally witnessed numerous occasions where Donald Trump used racist language or exhibited demeaning behavior toward people of color.
“Mr. Trump is a racist,” Cohen said. “The country has seen Mr. Trump court white supremacists and bigots. You have heard him call poorer countries ‘sh**holes.’ 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 ‘sh**hole.’ This was when Barack Obama was president of the United States.”
Driving through a poor neighborhood, Trump once commented that “only Black people could live that way” and that “Black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid,” Cohen added.
When Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) addressed the committee, she spoke out against Meadows for using Patton calling her political ‘prop.’
“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. “And to prop up one member of our entire race of Black people and say that that nullifies that is truly insulting, and in this environment of expecting a president to be inclusive and to look at his administration speaks volumes.”
Patton sat down after Meadows’ and Cohen’s comments. Afterward, Patton told PBS Newshour reporter, Yamiche Alcindor, that to her “today was not about the color of my skin. Today was about two people who know the President equally and who disagree about the way he is being characterized … My presence was to remind Cohen that truth and integrity still matter in this city and on the Hill … The Trump organization is not about race. It is about empowerment.”
“I said it before, I say it again, the president does not see color, race, creed, religion,” Patton told Politico. “What he sees is success and failure.”
This is hard to understand seeing Trump seemingly has a long history of racist behavior, according to Huffington Post. From his company’s discrimination against Black potential renters in the 1970s in New York City to his divisive and racist comments that labeled Mexican immigrants as criminals to his refusal to acknowledge that President Barack Obama is a native born United States citizen.
Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib got emotional during the hearing as she called Meadow’s stunt racist and also referred to Meadows use of Patton as a racist move. During their exchange Meadows fought back that it was racist of Tlaib to make such a suggestion making refernce to the fact that he actually has nephews and nieces who are people of color. Tlaib went on to clarify that she called the act racist, and was not referring to Meadows himself.
The two have since hugged it out after Tlaib apologized.