Republican Sen. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma advised a witness to “shut your mouth” throughout a heated trade at a Senate listening to on Wednesday.
The witness, basic president of the Worldwide Brotherhood of Teamsters Sean O’Brien, went toe-to-toe with Mullin on the listening to earlier than the Senate Well being, Labor, Training and Pensions Committee. The panel’s chairman, Vermont impartial Sen. Bernie Sanders, needed to intervene a number of occasions to get the questioning again on monitor.
“I need to make it very clear. I’m not in opposition to unions. I’m under no circumstances. A few of my excellent buddies work for unions, they work laborious, they usually do a great job,” Mullin mentioned. “Please don’t make an assumption that I’m anti-union, however I additionally need to set the document straight.”
Mullin then criticized the panel for not discussing allegations of unions intimidating employees who don’t need to be part of their organizations, and pointed to his personal expertise the place he alleges unions tried to intimidate him and his staff.
“I’m not afraid of bodily confrontation, in truth typically I stay up for it. That’s not my drawback,” he mentioned. Mullin is a former blended martial arts fighter.
He requested O’Brien his wage. “Effectively, I’m glad you requested that query,” started O’Brien, earlier than Mullin lower him off by studying off his 2019 annual revenue. O’Brien and Mullin went backwards and forwards on what UPS drivers make, with O’Brien saying Mullin’s numbers have been “inaccurate.”
O’Brien advised Mullin that his line of questioning was “out of line,” at which level Mullin replied, “Sir, you must shut your mouth.”
“You’re gonna inform me to close my mouth?” O’Brien fired again. “Powerful man. ‘I’m not afraid of bodily confrontation.’”
Sanders banged his gavel and advised Mullin to let O’Brien reply the questions.
“It was rhetorical,” Mullin mentioned.
“You ask a query, he has a proper to reply that,” Sanders advised him.
Sanders repeatedly needed to cease the witness and senator from criticizing one another, as Mullin mentioned this was exhibiting how union leaders behave.
“No, this exhibits your habits,” Sanders ordered. “Keep on the difficulty, please.”
Mullin’s time expired with out O’Brien answering one other query.