Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Teamsters general chairman Sean O’Brien took on each other in a Senate hearing Tuesday.
The situation began after Mr Mullin, who was questioning Mr O’Brien on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, confronted union advocates over comments he made on social media earlier this year.
In June, O’Brien called Mullin a “clown” and “fraud” against X, then said: Cowboy anywhere, anytime. ”
During Tuesday’s hearing, Mullin, a former MMA fighter, accepted the challenge, vowing to fight O’Brien on the Senate floor.
“Sir, this is a time and a place. Do you want to move your mouth?” Marin asked. “Now that we can be two consenting adults, we can end this here.”
Mr. O’Brien immediately responded: perfection. “
Mullin got up from his seat and asked O’Brien again if he was willing to fight, and once again received a resounding “yes.”
“Now stand your butts up,” Marin said, and O’Brien stood up as well.
But when Mullin started taking off her wedding ring, Sen. Bernie Sanders (R-Vermont), who was presiding over the hearing, demanded that they stop.
“You’re a United States senator, sit down. This is a hearing, and God knows the American people have enough contempt for Congress…” Sanders shouted about the fight that broke out.
Mr. Sanders continued to pound his gavel repeatedly before thwarting the pair’s attempts to pick a fight for charity.
Sanders added: “We’re not here to talk about physical abuse.”
An incredibly tense moment, not the first The relationship between Mullin and O’Brien had to be broken up by Saunders.
In March, Mullin instructed O’Brien to remain silent during a tense exchange at another Senate hearing.
O’Brien responded at the time by mocking what he considered Mullin’s “tough guy” behavior.
As before, the two will likely continue their feud on social media until they meet in person again.
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*First published: November 14, 2023 12:16pm CST
Michael Thalen is a technology and security reporter covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.