Conservative slams 'birther' Mark Meadows for using the 'I have black friends' excuse: 'Lame'
Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Trump official Lynne Patton. (PBS/Screenshot)

Conservative political commentator Charlie Sykes unloaded on "birther" congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) for his racist and bombastic performance during Michael Cohen's hearing — and noted that he's a symptom of a "cancer" within the GOP.

After Meadows brought a black HUD official to the House floor for a non-speaking role in his attempt to prove Donald Trump is not a racist, the North Carolina Republican got emotional when progressive freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) suggested he was using her as a token in a "racist act."

Meadows went on to claim he was not a racist because he has "people of color" in his family — and Twitter sleuths pointed out soon after that he was recorded multiple times in 2012 saying he wanted to send former President Barack Obama back to "Kenya or wherever."

"This whole hearing was a morality play in Washington how people were setting themselves on fire to serve Trumpism," Sykes said. "If you want to show you're not a racist, 'I have black friends' is like the lamest, most awkward thing you could possibly do. Simply to have someone stand behind you and not talk — I mean, which aide, which overpaid congressional aide came up with that?"

"There's no question about it: Mark Meadows is, in fact, a birther," Sykes told a panel on MSNBC's AM Joy, "and this has been the sort of cancer in the Republican Party that they failed to address early on."

The editor-in-chief of the never-Trump conservative Bulwark website noted that the president launched his campaign "by embracing birtherism."

"This is almost the original sin," Sykes said. "And when you bring that back for Mark Meadows to say, 'yes, I was implying that first African-American president of the United States was born in Kenya, but I don't have a racial bone in my body' — look, he showed us who he was and he reiterates it and his defenses dig a deeper hole."

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