WATCH: Fight Nearly Breaks Out Between GOP Senator and Union Boss

November 14, 2023

A fight nearly broke out in a Senate hearing Tuesday between a GOP senator and the head of a major union.

Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R., Okla.) nearly became involved in a physical altercation with Sean O'Brien, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Mullin read a June post on X from O'Brien that called the senator a "clown" and a "fraud." The post included a photo that appeared to show Mullin standing on a stool behind his podium at an August 2022 Republican primary debate for the seat he eventually won. "Quit the tough guy act in these senate hearings," O'Brien's post read. "You know where to find me. Anyplace, Anytime cowboy." Mullin responded to that post days later by challenging O'Brien to an MMA fight.

"Sir, this is a time; this is a place," Mullin said Tuesday. "You want to run your mouth, we can be two consenting adults, we can finish it here."

"Okay, that's fine, perfect," O'Brien replied.

"You want to do it now?" said Mullin.

"I'd love to do it right now," responded O'Brien.

The two then told each other to "stand your butt up" before Mullin stood up and motioned as though he was about to take his wedding ring off.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) quickly intervened to stop the brawl that was apparently about to break out.

"No, no, sit down, sit down" he told them both before telling Mullin, "You're a United States senator" and banging his gavel.

This is not the first time Mullin and O'Brien have engaged in a heated argument in a Senate hearing. Mullin called out O'Brien at a March hearing for his salary, leading to a confrontation in which the senator told the union leader to "shut your mouth." O'Brien responded by calling Mullin a "tough guy."

Published under: Teamsters