Michael Cohen’s Wednesday hearing before the House Oversight Committee featured at least two not-so-subtle guest appearances from Trump allies: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Housing and Urban Development official Lynne Patton.
Gaetz, who drew widespread condemnation Tuesday for tweeting a message that appeared to threaten Cohen with releasing information to his wife, reportedly popped into the room in an attempt to ask a question, according to ABC News reporter Ben Siegel. Also in attendance was Patton, a former Trump aide and current HUD official who was a guest of Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and was notably brought into Trump’s orbit by Cohen himself.
Patton, who is black, served as part of Republican efforts to contradict Cohen’s allegations that Trump is racist. Cohen is claimed in his testimony that Trump once told him that “black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid,” among other blatantly racist remarks.
When Meadows’ turn for questioning came up, he told Cohen that Patton, who was seated behind him, “doesn’t agree with” the “demeaning” remarks about the president. “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,” Meadows said.
“As neither should I, as the son of a Holocaust survivor,” Cohen shot back.