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Teamsters general president Sean O’Brien said Thursday that he would be willing to sit down with the Republican senator who challenged him to a fight earlier this week, but the labor boss added that he would come prepared.
Riffing about how Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) mused that he “will bite” in a fight, O’Brien told Fox Business Network host Neil Cavuto that “I will wear my football equipment” should a meeting come to pass.
“I have no problem sitting down with anybody. I would have no problem sitting down with Senator Mullin,” O’Brien said before adding: “I don’t want to get bit, shot, or caned for that matter, so I will have to protect myself.”
O’Brien and Mullin nearly came to blows Tuesday during a contentious Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing.
Mullin referenced social media posts the Teamsters boss made several months back suggesting the two tangle, including one that read: “Quit the tough guy act in these senate hearings. You know where to find me. Anyplace.”
“Sir, this is the time, this is the place. You wanna run your mouth? We could be two consenting adults. We can finish it here,” Mullin exclaimed.
O’Brien replied, “I’d love to do it right now” and the two exchanged taunts. Then Mullin stood up from his seat and appeared to brace for battle.
Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 82, quickly intervened and quieted down the situation.
“It was the most bizarre thing that I’ve ever seen,” O’Brien reflected to Cavuto. “First, he says we’re consenting adults, which was bizarre because it sounded like he wanted to date me.”
“Then he asked to fight me, and I’m hearing now he wanted to bite me. And then the last post he made was in front of a cache of automatic weapons where he says anytime anyplace,” O’Brien continued.
“Make up your mind. Do you want to date me, fight me, bite me, or shoot me? It’s crazy.”
O’Brien was referencing a podcast appearance Wednesday, during which Mullin said: “I’ll bite 100%. In a fight, I’m gonna bite. I’ll do anything. I’m not above it, and I don’t care where I bite, by the way.”
Mullin is a former MMA fighter, but O’Brien wasn’t impressed and still thinks he could kick the senator’s butt.
“If you look at his opponents, most of them have losing records and everything else,” O’Brien chided, noting that he’s got some high school football games under his belt.
The Teamsters boss was also adamant that he doesn’t regret provoking the Oklahoman.
“I don’t because [during] my first interaction with Senator Mullin at my first hearing, he attacked me personally regarding my salary,” O’Brien said. “Then he proceeded to try and belittle everybody on the committee.”
“He behaves like a 12 year old in a schoolyard,” he further jabbed.
“I may not respect Markwayne Mullin, but I do respect the position of the US Senator.”
Mullin has since fundraised off the confrontation.
The 46-year-old senator previously said he would fight porn star Stormy Daniels’ disgraced former lawyer Michael Avenatti, but that never manifested either.
Mullin was elected to the House in 2012 and ascended to the Senate after winning a special election to succeed retiring Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) last year.
The Teamsters touts 1.2 million members, is one of the largest labor unions in the country and represents workers in the trucking, rail and publishing industries.
O’Brien also declined to endorse President Biden for re-election Thursday, telling Cavuto: “We haven’t made those decisions yet.”