Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel renamed the Capitol Hill livestream C-SPAN “UFC-SPAN” after a series of fights between members of the Republican party this week.
On Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday night, Mr Kimmel poked fun at a fight that broke out between Senator Markwayne Mullin and Sean O’Brien, the president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, during a Senate Committee hearing earlier in the day.
In the dramatic moment, Mr Mullin – a former cage fighter – took to his feet to challenge Mr O’Brien to a physical fight.
Branding Mr O’Brien a “moron”, he challenged him to “stand your butt up”, to which the union leader replied “you stand your butt up”.
Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders, the chairman of the hearing, was forced to intervene and play peacemaker, yelling at Mr Mullin to sit down and banging his gavel several times.
“You are a United States senator!” he told Mr Mullin.
“This is a hearing, and God knows the American people have enough contempt for Congress, let’s not make it worse,” he added.
Mr Mullin and Mr O’Brien proceeded to shout at each other for around six minutes before agreeing to have coffee together, but not before Mr O’Brien appeared perplexed as he asked Mr Mullin: “You wanna fight me?”
Mr Kimmel mocked the two men for their exchange, saying the Republican party had turned into “UFC-SPAN all of a sudden”.
“Grandpa Bernie is about to turn this car around, and then nobody is going to Six Flags,” he joked.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but what I do know is that isn’t the first time Bernie Sanders was forced to play the role of peacemaker. You know, when he was originally elected to the Senate, he tried to convince Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton to hug it out, and that didn’t work, either. That didn’t end well at all,” he added.
The confrontation between Mr Mullin and Mr O’Brien occurred after the Oklahoma senator recalled an interaction he had with Mr O’Brien in June on X, formerly known as Twitter.
At the time, the pair discussed engaging in an MMA fight for charity, but Mr O’Brien hit back at Mr Mullin, calling him a “clown and a fraud”.
“Quit the tough guy act in these senate hearings. You know where to find me. Any place, anytime, cowboy,” he wrote on X.
Mr Mullin read out the post during the senate hearing, challenging Mr O’Brien to “finish it here,” before the fight between the two men broke out.
The confrontation between Mr Mullin and Mr O’Brien was not the only fight to break out on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
During his Tuesday night show, Mr Kimmel also referred to an alleged altercation between Tennesee congressman Tim Burchett and former speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted from his role by members of his own party last month.
Mr Burchett alleged that Mr McCarthy elbowed him in the kidney as he passed him in the corridors on Capitol Hill.
Mr Kimmel said it was “presumably as some kind of payback for voting to remove McCarthy as speaker last month”.
Mr McCarthy has denied the allegation, but Mr Kimmel was not convinced.
“McCarthy denied he did it, of course,” he said, adding: “He also denies the election so he’s probably lying.”
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