Rep. Mark Meadows brought in a former Trump staffer as a guest to refute the claims of racism by the president’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen during a Wednesday hearing at the House Oversight Committee.
Mr. Meadows, North Carolina Republican, introduced Lynne Patton, a former staffer and current official at the Housing and Urban Development, as his guest. Cohen said he helped Ms. Patton get her current decision in HUD.
The congressman said Ms. Patton, who is African-American, “doesn’t agree with” the “demeaning” remarks Cohen made that Mr. Trump is racist during testimony in front of the committee.
“She 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,” Mr. Meadows said.
“As neither should I, as the son of a Holocaust survivor,” Cohen responded. He later asked Mr. Meadows to ask Ms. Patton: “How many people who are black are executives at the Trump administration?”
“The answer is zero,” Cohen said. Mr. Meadows asked for Ms. Patton’s testimony to be submitted as evidence, which chairmen Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat, approved.
Cohen claimed in his opening testimony that Mr. Trump once asked if he could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a “s—-hole” while Barack Obama was president. Cohen said Mr. Trump also said that black people wouldn’t vote for the him because they were “too stupid.”
The NAACP released a statement that said Mr. Trump’s record of racial equality points to him as “a racist who is wholly uninterested in advancing the cause of civil rights.”
Cohen will begin a three-year prison sentence in May after he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2017 and committing campaign finance violations while he was working for Mr. Trump.
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