Senator Mullin And Union Boss Almost Fight Each Other During Hearing

(L) Sean O’Brien, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on unions on November 14, 2023. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images) / (R) Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) speaks. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
11:00 AM – Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Senator Bernie Sanders, the chairman of the Senate committee, attempted to mediate a resolution at a hearing on Tuesday. However, one Republican senator got up and threatened to fight a labor leader.


The hearing looked to be headed down a road of physical altercation.

“Sir, this is a time, this is a place. You want to run your mouth, we can be two consenting adults and we can finish it here,” Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) told Teamsters President Sean O’Brien during a Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing after reading a tweet in which O’Brien said he could take the senator “any time” or “any place.”

“OK, that’s fine, perfect,” O’Brien said in response.

“You want to do it now?” Mullin then asked.

“I would love to do it right now,” O’Brien said, which prompted Mullin to respond, “Well, stand your butt up then.”

“You stand your butt up, big guy,” O’Brien asserted.

The former mixed martial arts fighter, Mullin, then got up from his chair and appeared determined to walk over to where the Teamsters president was seated.

“Stop it, hold it, no, no, sit down,” declared Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), attempting to calm the two down. “You’re a United States senator. Sit down.”

After Mullin sat down, O’Brien and Mullin each asked Sanders for permission to continue speaking to each other, however, Sanders turned down the request.

The pair then kept going back and forth for a few minutes.

“You challenged me to a cage match, acting like a 12-year-old,” said O’Brien after Mullin accused him of being “quiet” in the face of a challenge.

“Excuse me, hold it,” Sanders said, shouting over the Oklahoma senator. “Sen. Mullin, I have the mic.”

“We’re not here to talk about physical abuse,” Sanders said.

After that, Mullin pointed fingers at O’Brien and labeled him a “thug,” which made O’Brien refer to Mullin as “disrespectful.”

Sanders then interrupted once more after the two admitted to not respecting one another.

“Hold it,” Sanders said, banging his gavel. “This is a hearing to discuss economic issues … we’re not here to talk about fights or anything else.”

The two seemed to be getting more and more irritated as they spoke over one another, ignoring Sanders, until Mullin interrupted, saying, “Sir, you need to shut your mouth because you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Sanders pleaded with the two to stop their argument, but they persisted until the hearing ultimately went on to the next round of questions from other panel members.

Since March, when O’Brien’s income was disparaged from that of his union members at a heated hearing by the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, O’Brien and Mullin have had a tense relationship.

Eventually, Sanders got both men to calm down and forced Mullin to give O’Brien a chance to talk.

Senator Mullin And Union Boss Almost Fight Each Other During Hearing

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