Rep. Cleaver: I Was Embarrassed to Remain as Chair Presiding


Rep. Emanuel Cleaver explained on Wednesday why he abandoned the chair while presiding over a resolution the night before to condemn President Donald Trump’s recent tweets as racist, telling CNN’s “New Day” that the entire episode was embarrassing to the House of Representatives.

“Frankly, I was embarrassed to remain as the chair presiding,” said the Missouri Democrat. ”Here we were in the House of Representatives, and every person who spoke violated the House rules.”

Cleaver added that he was asked to preside “to try to make sure that it was a fair kind of a thing, and that’s what I did. So I admonished every single speaker, Democrat and Republican, and thought all I want to do is get through this ugly situation without adding any chaos to it. And then, the motion to take down the words of the Speaker [Nancy Pelosi] I thought were just a total disgrace, because I could have set the stage to take down the words of other Republicans that had spoken, but I just wanted to get through it without embarrassing us anymore.” 

When asked to expand on what was embarrassing, Cleaver said, “I don’t know if anybody can look at what’s going on here on Capitol Hill and think that it’s OK and think that it’s the normal way in which legislators conduct themselves.”

He said he was particularly disturbed that Trump is apparently “quite pleased with the way things happened yesterday. I’m not. I was embarrassed as a legislator in the United States House of Representatives. Can you imagine what the world is thinking as they watch this dysfunctionality here in Washington?”

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