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Shortly after Rep. Mark Meadows defended himself against allegations of racism during a House committee meeting Wednesday, video surfaced from 2012 of him saying that then-President Barack Obama should be sent “back home to Kenya or wherever.”
As reported by CNN, Meadows, a congressional candidate at the time, was asked at an event, “If the President is not a natural-born citizen, then he does not control the military. And so the question I have, if you’re sent to Congress, will you pursue some kind of an investigation to find out whether or not this guy is really a citizen and entitled to (that) authority?”
“Yes,” Meadows responded. “If we do our job from a grassroots standpoint, we won’t have to worry about it. We’ll send (Obama) back home to Kenya or wherever it is.”
Asked about the video on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Meadows said he’s “addressed that a dozen times.”
“And candidly it was not the way that I should’ve answered the questions,” he said. “Certainly is not something that I support from a standpoint of any racial overtones.”
He added, “I can tell you that anyone who knows me knows that there is not a racial bone in my body.”
The videos were shared by liberal commentators in response to Meadows introducing Lynne Patton – a Black woman and longtime Trump associate, to a hearing featuring Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen and referencing her to refute allegations that the president is racist.
“Just because someone has a person of color, a black person working for them, does not mean they aren’t racist,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. She added that using Patton, the Housing and Urban Development official, as a political “prop” was “racism in itself.”
Meadows vehemently denied the implication of racism and ask committee Chairman Elijah Cummings that her remarks be “stricken from the record.”
Tlaib maintained that it was a “racist act” but that she was not calling Meadows a racist.
Meadows then responded by noting that his nieces and nephews are “people of color.”
“To indicate that I asked someone who is a personal friend of the Trump family, who has worked for him, who knows this particular individual, that she’s coming in to be a prop, it’s racist to suggest that I ask her to come in here for that reason,” he added.
In a 2012 interview with Roll Call shortly after he made the remarks about Obama, Meadows said it was “probably a poor choice of words on my part more than anything else.”
“I believe he’s an American citizen,” he added.