Things grew very heated at a Senate hearing last week after Oklahoma Republican Senator Markwayne Mullin called out Teamster’s President Sean O’Brien for a social media post challenging the senator to a fight, ABC News reported.
O’Brien was testifying before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee which is chaired by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
During questioning, Senator Mullin cited some of the tweets O’Brien had posted in which he called the Oklahoma senator a “clown” and a “fraud.” In a June tweet, O’Brien challenged Mullin to a fight, telling him, “any place, anytime cowboy.”
Mullin, who is a former MMA fighter, confronted O’Brien over the tweets and read the tweet from June. He told the Teamster’s president, “Sir, this is a time, this is a place.” He told O’Brien that if he wanted to shoot off his mouth, then the two of them, as “consenting adults” could “finish it here.”
Mullin asked O’Brien if he would be willing to “do it right now,” to which the Teamster’s president said he would love to. Mullin stood up from his seat and ordered O’Brien to “stand your butt up then.”
Chairman Sanders quickly intervened, banging his gavel on the table and telling Mullin to return to his seat. Sanders reminded the Oklahoma senator that they were in the middle of a hearing and called out his behavior, saying that the American people already had contempt for Congress.
But Sanders’ pleas were ignored. Mullin told O’Brien that he did not like bullies or thugs. O’Brien responded that Mullin just described himself.
Sanders continued to plead for calm, telling the two men that the committee wasn’t there to “talk about physical abuse.”
Following the hearing, Senator Mullin told reporters that he was only responding to O’Brien’s challenge to fight, adding that he “didn’t start it.”
Mullin explained that he didn’t have a “beef” with O’Brien nor was their dispute about politics or policy. Instead, his dispute was with “a guy who called me out,” so he responded.