Maxine Waters, the frequently outspoken and blunt congresswoman from California, put herself in the spotlight – and perhaps not in a good way – by bullying a witness at a hearing this week.
“Reclaiming my time! Reclaiming my time!” she repeatedly spoke over Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin when he was trying to answer her questions.
It happened during a House Financial Services Committee hearing.
She questioned him about why she hadn’t gotten a reply to her letter some months ago about President Trump’s finances.
He started to answer, was interrupted and started to answer again. And again. And again.
Waters harassed Mnuchin more than a dozen times in two minutes, preventing him from completing his answer – while complaining she was losing her speaking time.
See the stunning exchange:
Mnuchin tried explaining his department is cooperating with multiple congressional committees and he has corresponded frequently.
“Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time,” Waters said over Mnuchin.
At one point the secretary asked committee chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, for clarification about the committee rules.
“Mr. Chairman, I thought when you read the rules, you acknowledged I shouldn’t be interrupted and that I would have…,” Mnuchin started.
He didn’t get to finish.
“Reclaiming my time,” the liberal firebrand yelled. “What he failed to tell you was, when you are on my time, I can reclaim it.”
Hensarling tried to tamp down the vitriol.
“We will give the gentlelady adequate time,” he said. “The time belongs to the gentlelady from California, but I assure you, majority members will allow you to answer the question when it is our time,” he told Mnuchin.
Mnuchin attempted to answer again.
“We have been responsive and we are trying to coordinate with you the response, and we’ve suggested that you get the information through the other committees, but I would like to emphasize we believe we have been very responsive and will continue to do so,” he managed to squeeze.
Then Waters was at it again.
“Reclaiming my time,” she said once again. “Thank you very much. You left a message.”
“No, we didn’t leave a message, we spoke to the chief oversight counsel…” Mnuchin said, before Waters cut him off.
“Reclaiming my time” she repeated several more times before contradicting his claim.