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The Curse of Jeffrey Toobin has struck again …
Meet Donald Payne Jr., a New Jersey Democrat who exposed his overflowing belly during a virtual House Homeland Security Committee hearing Thursday.
Video footage of the call shared to Twitter by Rep. Bethe Van Duyne, a Texas Republican, showed Payne hauling himself out of bed and then standing before his computer wearing nothing but a criminally undersized t-shirt and a pair of pajamas, seemingly unaware that his computer’s camera was operational.
Watch, and take note of the stunned, amused reaction from Rep. Kat Cammack, a Florida Republican, and the nonchalant way in which Rep. Yvette Clarke, a New York Democrat who appeared to be distracted, kept things moving.
— Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne (@RepBethVanDuyne) June 17, 2021
According to the New York Post, he’d been dressed earlier in the Zoom call …
The Post reported that he “stripped down after wearing a dress shirt and tie about a half-hour earlier in the hearing, which was scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m.”
It’s not clear why he chose to get nearly naked during a House hearing.
The clip provoked a flurry of vastly different responses.
Florida Rep. Brian Mast slammed Payne for being an ungrateful, overpaid, lazy schlub who doesn’t take his job seriously. In others, he slammed Payne for being a Democrat.
“If taxpayers are paying you $174,000 per year, getting out of bed and putting some clothes on for work seems like it should be a minimum requirement,” he tweeted.
Payne’s legislative director, Sam Morgante, suggested Republicans were “fat-shaming” his boss.
“It’s no secret that as a diabetic the Congressman has his weight struggles. But we try to stick to policy here in Congress,” he wrote in since-deleted tweets.
He then tried to slam Republicans for not joining the Democrats’ virtue-signaling “resolution in honor of Men’s Health Week.”
He wasn’t the only leftist to accuse Republicans of so-called “fat-shaming.” Some bellyachers even threw in the race card.
— Becca Hoffman (@beckitob) June 17, 2021
1. You’re shaming someone via use of zoom.
2. At least they are working, instead of spreading lies and hate.
3. If it was a white man, would you have shared?#RepublicansAreRacist
— Aijiaih (@JBinqs) June 17, 2021
You should be ashamed of yourself. Fat Shaming!!! Really bad look Representative.
I pray your children are more compassionate than their mother! 😢
— 3Hams (@3Hams1) June 17, 2021
Fat shaming, really????? … You probably weren’t paying attention for the past 4 years to trump and his morbidly obese ass trying to play golf
— Prez 🌊 🇵🇷🇺🇲🇩🇪🌊 (@Prez_R_Miguel) June 17, 2021
so much for bipartisanship. Representative butterface barbie throwing around the body shaming while looking like tammy fay baker….
— C_B_W (@vetagainsth8) June 17, 2021
Notice how, in complaining about Duyne’s so-called “fat-shaming” tweet, they saw nothing wrong with shaming former President Donald Trump for being “morbidly obese” and Duyne herself for being a so-called “barbie.”
Meanwhile in reality, most people responded to the congresswoman’s tweet by enjoying a warm laugh, regardless of race, gender or “fatness.’
As a fat guy stfu this isn’t even fat shaming a man just got up and exposed his belly on a zoom call that shits hillarious
— Ahmed Harajli ⛄️🇺🇸 (@ahmedhh2003) June 18, 2021
@RepYvetteClarke receives the stay on message award😂
— John Burnett (@IamJohnBurnett) June 17, 2021
Looks like he needs to work on his “strategically placed critical infrastructure…”
— Jim M (@JimM04714446) June 17, 2021
Next meeting Monday morning 6/21/19 9 am …clothing optional
— GT3 (@GT368569468) June 17, 2021
He’s sure feeling the Payne right now…
— Tony Edwards 🇺🇸 (@RealTonyEdwards) June 18, 2021
That’s one way to “rise and seek recognition” I suppose…
— Brett Horton (@bretthhorton) June 17, 2021
Could have been worse. Toobin could have been on the call.
— Wheresyourcape? (@wheresyourcape) June 17, 2021
I think he embarrassed himself…We’re lucky he had pants on or we could’ve seen another Toobin
— SisterSara (@SisterSaraAnn) June 18, 2021
One clever soul even added Payne to the clip from the famous educational sketch about how legislative bills are made.
— Alec Sears (@alec_sears) June 17, 2021
Instead of playing along, Payne chose to release a somber statement afterward reiterating his commitment to “the public good.”
“As a public servant, my focus has always been the public good and my work to better the lives of my constituents and all Americans, regardless of the circumstances,” he reportedly said.
It’s not clear how giving people nightmares is in “the public good,” but OK …
This isn’t the first time Payne’s slipped up during a virtual hearing. During an Aviation Subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing in March, he was caught sleeping on camera, according to Fox News.
Apparently, the congressman likes his sleep so much that he’s willing to take a nap — and sometimes strip down almost naked — whenever he feels like it.
It’s a bold strategy, Cotton …
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