WASHINGTON, DC: In a surprising and tense moment during a Senate hearing on unions, Republican Sen. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma challenged International Brotherhood of Teamsters President Sean O’Brien to a physical fight . The incident occurred during a session of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
Mullin took the opportunity to ask questions of witnesses, referencing a previous heated exchange in March between him and O’Brien regarding Mullin’s background as a business owner and O’Brien’s salary in as head of the union.
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Heated exchange between Markwayne Mullin and Sean O’Brien
Holding up printed tweets, Mullin accused O’Brien of insults, reading aloud a message in which he called a “greedy CEO,” a “clown” and a “fraud.”
“‘You know where to find me. Anytime, anywhere, cowboy.’ Sir, this is a time. This is a place,” Mullin said, pointing to the floor between the dais and the witness table. “If you want to talk, we can be two consenting adults. We can end it here,” he added.
O’Brien replied calmly: “OK, that’s it. Perfect.”
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“Do you want to do it now?” asked Mullin.
“I’d love to do it now,” O’Brien replied.
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“Well, straighten your ass up, then,” Mullin retorted.
“You get your ass up,” O’Brien replied.
The situation escalated when Mullin stood up, prompting committee chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders to intervene.
“Stop that. You’re a United States senator,” Sanders said, as O’Brien again called Mullin a “clown.” “This is a hearing. And God knows the American people have enough contempt for Congress. Let’s not make this worse,” Sanders added.
Mullin later told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that Oklahomans would be angry with him if he didn’t confront O’Brien.
The surreal confrontation occurred shortly after a separate physical incident involving lawmakers elsewhere on Capitol Hill.
Following a meeting of House Republicans, Rep. Tim Burchett claimed former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy elbowed him in the back, leading to a brief chase.
Mullin reportedly has a background as an undefeated former mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter with a 5-0 professional record, according to CBS News.
The verbal brawl continued between the Republican senator and the Teamsters president, both of whom apparently agreed to meet for coffee. However, the situation deteriorated further, ending with Sanders swinging the gavel as the two men exchanged further insults, calling each other an “embarrassment” and a “thug.”
Senator Markwayne Mullin faces backlash on social media
However, critics took to social media to express their disapproval of Mullin’s behavior.
“So they sent him to be a brawler and not a lawgiver?” one published on X (formerly Twitter).
“What a role model for his children and his community,” wrote another.
“My God, what a c**t! I’m sure that’s why the people of Oklahoma sent him to Washington, D.C. Maybe the voters there need to rethink that decision,” he said. suggested someone else.
“So wouldn’t being an adult have been more appropriate?” a comment read.
“Mullins will have children, middle and high school students, expelled from schools, and young adults expelled from restaurants, hotels and other public places for fighting; for following Mullins’ example,” added another.
So they sent him to be a brawler and not a lawmaker?
— Franklin Brown (@franklin19788) November 15, 2023
What a role model for his children and his community.
– George (@OsemwegieGeorge) November 15, 2023
My god, what an asshole! I’m sure that’s why the people of Oklahoma sent him to Washington DC. Maybe voters should rethink this decision.
— Eye of the Idol (@EyeOfTheIdol) November 15, 2023
So wouldn’t being an adult have been more appropriate?
— Philippe 🇺🇸🇫🇷 🌊 🖖🏼 (@unfazedgoat) November 15, 2023
Mullins will have children, middle and high school students, expelled from schools, and young adults expelled from restaurants, hotels and other public places for fighting; for following Mullins’ example.
— Victor L. Nickson (@VictorLNickson2) November 15, 2023
Despite the physical posturing, Mullin insisted the challenge was not personal, telling reporters after the hearing: “He just challenged me and I accepted the challenge.” »
He insisted he had no “hard feelings” about the confrontation.
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