A Republican senator who had a tense exchange with a union boss during a hearing in March took to social media on Monday to challenge him to a cage fight.
Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) issued the challenge to Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien to a mixed martial arts match as the two continued their feud months later.
“Greedy CEO who pretends like he’s self-made. In reality, just a clown & fraud. Always has been, and always will be. Quit the tough guy act in these senate hearings. You know where to find me. Anyplace, Anytime cowboy. #LittleManSyndrome,” O’Brien noted on Twitter last week.
Mullin accepted the challenge.
“An attention-seeking union Teamster boss is trying to be punchy after our Senate hearing. Okay, I accept your challenge. MMA fight for the charity of our choice. Sept 30th in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’ll give you 3 days to accept,” the GOP senator tweeted in response.
Earlier O’Brien taunted Mullin: “What have you done for working people in OK @SenMullin? Last time I checked, your state ranks near the bottom in median wages. Sounds like you need to shut your mouth & get to work for the people of your state. They deserve action, not your phony ‘man of the people’ spiel. #Truth”
During a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing in March, the two went back and forth at each other, with Mullin at one point accusing O’Brien of “sucking the paycheck” out of members and telling the union boss, “Shut your mouth” at another point.
“You are gonna tell me to shut my mouth!?” O’Brien hit back. “Tough guy, I’m not afraid of physical…” he added.
Mullin was elected to the U.S. House in 2012. Before then, he won three MMA fights in 2006 and 2007 before entering politics.
In August 2022, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) got into a tense exchange with FBI Director Christopher Wray.
At one point, the Texas Republican slammed his boot on a table and denounced the agency as having become “thoroughly politicized” under Wray’s leadership.
Wray was being questioned by senators when Cruz inquired about what he described as an FBI training document that investigative journalism organization Project Veritas had obtained that Cruz said “listed various symbols and themes which in the FBI’s estimation were indicative of ‘militia violent extremism.’”
According to a video clip of the exchange posted online, Cruz pointed out that, according to the alleged FBI training document, the symbols included the Betsy Ross flag — an early design of the American flag consisting of 13 stars in a circle — the Gadsden “Live Free Or Die” Flag and the Gonzales battle flag. At that, Cruz took off one of his boots and slammed it on the table to show Wray that it depicted the Gonzales flag.
“Well, I will self-report right now that every day in the Senate, I wear my boots that have the Gonzalez battle flag on the back of them,” he said.
“Director Wray, what are y’all doing? This makes no sense,” Cruz continued, pointing to a graphic mock-up behind him of the training aid sent to Project Veritas. “Do you agree with this FBI guidance?”
Wray responded that he was not familiar with the particular training aid that Cruz posted and thus could not comment specifically on it, but added: “I will tell you that when we put out intelligence products, including ones that reference symbols, which we do across a wide variety of contexts, we usually make great pains, take great pains to put caveats and warnings in the document that make clear that a symbol alone is not considered evidence of violent extremism.”
“Director Wray, you don’t include things like Antifa,” Cruz responded, again referencing the alleged FBI training document. “You don’t include things like Black Lives Matter. Instead, you identify patriotic Americans as a suspect.”