Video Shows Bernie Sanders Stopping a Near-Brawl During Senate Hearing

The 82-year-old senator intervened when a GOP senator challenged a union president to a fight during a Senate hearing.

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A Senate hearing on Tuesday quickly became heated and nearly escalated into a fistfight.

The dispute arose from tweets by Teamsters general president Sean O’Brien insulting GOP Senator Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma. 

In a video of the incident circulating on social media, Mullin, a former mixed martial arts fighter, is seen reading off a tweet from O’Brien posted in June calling him a “clown” and a “fraud” before challenging O’Brien to settle the matter physically.

“Sir, this is a time, this is a place. You want to run your mouth, we can be two consenting adults, we can finish it here,” says Mullin.

“Okay, that’s fine, perfect,” O’Brien replies.

“You wanna do it now?” Mullin says.

“Would love to do it right now,” says O’Brien.

“Well stand your butt up then,” says Mullin

“You stand your butt up,” replies O’Brien.

Sen. Mullen is then seen getting up from his seat and begins to take off his ring before Senator Bernie Sanders intervenes, saying, “Hold it, stop it. You’re a United States Senator, act it.”

“This is a hearing, and God knows the American people have enough contempt for Congress, let’s not make it worse,” said Sanders, according to the Associated Press. 82-year-old Sanders repeatedly used his gavel in an attempt to redirect the discussion to the economic issues at the center of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing. The hearing aimed to assess the impact of unions on working families.

The AP reported that the two men continued to trade words for several more minutes, each calling the other a “thug.” Mullin once again suggested a charity fight next spring, to which O’Brien declined, instead suggesting that they settle their differences over coffee. Mullin agreed, although the two continued to bicker with each other until Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire began her questioning and spoke over the men.

The upcoming coffee meeting might still not be enough for Mullin, who later tweeted, “In Oklahoma, if you run your mouth, you get called out. Period.”

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