Ocasio-Cortez defends Tlaib's charge Trump family friend used as racist 'prop'

Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defiantly defended congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s charge that Trump family friend Lynne Patton, an African-American, was used as a racist “prop” at Michael Cohen’s congressional hearing.

“Total bravery from @RashidaTlaib as she reminds the nation that tokenism *is* racism,” Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tweeted Thursday.

During Michael Cohen’s hearing Wednesday, Republican Sen. Mark Meadows of North Carolina  presented Patton as a friend of the Trump family to address accusations by Cohen that President Trump was a racist.

Afterwards, Tlaib, D-Mich., accused Meadows of using Patton as “a prop” and suggested that was in itself a “racist act.”

“Just to make a note, Mr. Chairman, just because someone has a person of color, a black person, working for them does not mean they aren’t racist, and it is insensitive that some would even — the fact that someone would actually use a prop, a black woman, in this chamber, in this committee is alone racist in itself,” Tlaib said.

Meadows took exception and asked House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., to remove her comments from the record.

Cummings, who is African-American, called Meadows one of his “best friends” and diffused the situation after asking Tlaib to clarify her remarks.

Tlaib said she was not calling Meadows a racist.

Meadows told Laura Ingraham Thursday night on Fox’s “The Ingraham Angle” that after the hearing, he offered a “hand of friendship” to Tlaib.

“She hugged me, and certainly we looked at moving forward,” Meadows said.

Tlaib on CNN Thursday doubled down on her comments, saying again “it was a racist act” and she was using it as a teachable moment.

She also emphasized that she was “pretty direct” and would have called Meadows a racist if she really felt he was.

“I think if we want to talk about race in this country that was not the way to do it,” Tlaib said.

She also addressed Patton, who denied she was being used as “a prop,” saying she meant “no disrespect to her at all.”