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US Senator challenges Teamsters president to fight during hearing


Sean M. O’Brien, International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee hearing titled “Standing Up Against Corporate Greed: How Unions are Improving the Lives of Working Families” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 14, 2023. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

An Oklahoma senator challenged Teamsters President Sean O’Brien to a fight during a Senate hearing on Tuesday rising from his seat, before the committee chair stepped in defuse the confrontation.

The verbal sparring began after Republican Senator Markwayne Mullin paraphrased from a June tweet posted by O’Brien about the Senator: “…What a clown, a fraud. Always has been, always will be. Quit the tough guy act in these senate hearings. You know where to find me. Anyplace, Anytime cowboy.”

Mullin finished with an offer to fight O’Brien at the hearing, saying “Sir, this is a time, this is a place, if you want to run your mouth, we can be two consenting adults, we can finish it here,” while pointing to the floor separating the two.

O’Brien responded “OK that’s fine, perfect.”

Mullin then rose for his seat after O’Brien said “You stand your butt up, big guy” as the two traded further barbs. At that point Sanders, who was chairing the hearing with union presidents, said to Mullin: “You’re a United States senator, sit down.”

Mullin again later in the hearing challenged O’Brien to fight for charity in April.

The hearing ended without further disruption from either one.

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