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Elizabeth Warren Melts Down After Defense Secretary Nominee Rejects Her Insults

Elizabeth Warren Melts Down After Defense Secretary Nominee Rejects Her Insults

An agitated Elizabeth Warren treated Mark Esper as though he was a corruptocrat-in-waiting, and he was not having it.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has been enjoying a steady rise in presidential polling numbers over the last two months. She also had very impressive numbers for second quarter fundraising, bringing in $19.1 million, coming in third only to Joe Biden and South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Perhaps it was the rise in polling numbers, the massive fundraising haul, or both that made Warren feel confidently contemptuous enough to treat Defense Secretary nominee Mark Esper like a corruptocrat-in-waiting during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination on Tuesday.

Politico reports:

In a heated exchange at a Senate Armed Services confirmation hearing, Warren — a Democratic presidential contender — criticized Esper for not committing to extend for his entire tenure at the Pentagon his recusal from issues involving Raytheon, where he worked as a top lobbyist.

Warren cited former acting Secretary Pat Shanahan, a former vice president with Boeing, who extended his recusal permanently amid questions about his ties to the aerospace company. She also pressed Esper to commit to never seek a waiver from his recusal and not seek defense industry employment for four years after leaving government, which he declined to do.

“Let me get this straight. You’re still due to get at least a million-dollar payout from when you lobbied for Raytheon. You won’t commit to recuse yourself,” Warren said. “You insist on being free to seek a waiver that would let you make decisions affecting Raytheon’s bottom line and your remaining financial interest. And you won’t rule out taking a trip right back through the revolving door on your way out of government service.”

Esper, who until recently was the acting Secretary of Defense, was not having it:

Esper, who is now being promoted to Defense secretary, jabbed back at Tuesday’s hearing, arguing he hadn’t sought a waiver and had abided by all his ethics obligations. And he pointed to former President Barack Obama’s selection of Bill Lynn, also a top lobbyist for Raytheon, as deputy secretary.


“I went to war for this country. I served overseas for this country. I’ve stepped down from jobs that paid me well more than [government],” Esper said. “And each time, it was to serve the public good and to serve the young men and women of our armed services.”

“I think the presumption is, for some reason, anybody who comes from the business or the corporate world is corrupt,” he said.

Warren then went into full meltdown mode as she was gaveled down by Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) after attempting to clap back at Esper’s statement:

Chairman: “You’ve gone two minutes over.”

Warren: “I have not gone over. He has gone over. And he is not willing to make a commitment that he will not engage in conflicts of interest with that company for which he was a lobbyist. This is outrageous.”

Watch video of the full exchange below:

Several Republican Senators took exception to Warren’s treatment of Esper, including Rick Scott (FL) who accused Warren of orchestrating a performance for her presidential campaign:

“I’m very disappointed that Sen. Warren would demonize you after you decades of service simply because you served in the private sector,” said Rick Scott, a Florida Republican. “There’s a lot of us who have been in the private sector and that doesn’t take anything away from our ability to do our job. I guess she just needed a moment for her presidential campaign,” Scott said.

Once you watch the video of the two of them going back and forth, you can very clearly see that Warren was the aggressor, cutting Esper off, not letting him complete his answers, and so on. To be sure, asking the types of questions Warren did shouldn’t be considered out of bounds, but it’s the way she asked them that made her come off as rude and condescending when such treatment wasn’t necessary.

With that being said, how did CNN choose to frame the story in their headline? As though it was Esper who initiated the “sparring” match:

Defense Secretary nominee Esper spars with Warren over ties to defense contractor


On a related note, I’m trying to figure out why it’s *not* considered sexist and rude for women to repeatedly interrupt men during hearings but it *is* considered sexist and rude for men to interrupt women at these same hearings. That’s another topic for another day, but worth mentioning all the same considering the dynamics of what happened Tuesday.

In spite of Warren’s grandstanding and theatrics, Esper is expected to be confirmed, possibly as early as Thursday but more likely sometime next week.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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Colonel Travis | July 17, 2019 at 5:13 pm

Name a leftist who doesn’t have the temperament of a 3-year-old.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | July 17, 2019 at 5:20 pm

Wish Representative Doug Collins would give us his take on Warren.

Representative Doug Collins Discusses Pelosi’s Clown Show on House Floor…

As soulless a bag of bones as HRC, but without the trail of corpses.

Lord knows the Dem operatives never jump into cushy media jobs.

Someone who lies about her heritage has no business questioning someone else’s ethics.

southern commenter | July 17, 2019 at 6:44 pm

I wish someone would smack the crap out of Warren.

The Friendly Grizzly | July 17, 2019 at 6:44 pm

Banging her spoon on her high chair. When the grownups didn’t rise to the play for attention, she threw her toys out of the park.

The Friendly Grizzly | July 17, 2019 at 6:45 pm

Pram. (Edit feature, please?)

This is not about Esper. It’s about Kamala Harris. Warren is watching Harris catching up with her in the polls by using these tough trial attorney theatrics. Interrogating people like an attack dog, cutting them off, “just yes or no!” etc. Harris did it in the Kavanaugh hearings, she used it on William Barr, she used it on Joe Biden. It works. Her ratings go up, and Warren is worried, so she is trying the same shtick. She still has to learn from Harris to ask total non-sequiturs, something that will leave the victim looking baffled, as in “what does that have to do with anything?” That looks like they have no good answer, and that’s exactly what Harris is aiming for. Warren has not mastered that yet.

    artichoke in reply to Hunt53. | July 17, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    The total nonsequitur was an NKVD interrogation tactic. Harris has no discernible ethics.

      Tom Servo in reply to artichoke. | July 18, 2019 at 10:36 am

      Lizzie Warren is going to be the Dem Presidential nominee, and Kamela Harris will be her V.P.

      They will call their ticket the Squaw-Skank Redemption.

    Harris and Fauxcahontas are trying to out-hysteric each other.

    Neither has the temperment, the honesty nor the talent to hold high office – honestly and talent being the bigger factors.

Definitely presidential material, right there. A sitting Senator getting pantsed by a nominee. She held all the cards, and she couldn’t play them.

She ought to do right well going up against Putin, the Mullahs, and the Chicoms.

This is starting to look like a trend – witnesses actually standing up against these browbeating demagogues

    Gremlin1974 in reply to txvet2. | July 17, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    If so it is a trend that I can get behind and support.

    Barry in reply to txvet2. | July 17, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Thanks President Trump!

    Owego in reply to txvet2. | July 17, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    It is, indeed, and it is not a good thing because it is pandering to an audience, grandstanding theatrics. It provides no illumination sheds no light on serious matters. The evidence is at the very start of the exchange when Esper notes that he and Warren had discussed one of the items earlier in her office, which she readily acknowledges. Given this, there is no reason to see her entire “time” as anything but a performance. OTOH, it may well be that she lost control of herself toward the end of the exchange, unscripted and not a good thing. On the campaign trail she may attempt to parlay this into something more than it is when confronted with the clip, but that should not be permitted to fly; it was simply a loss of self control during what should have been an exchange of differing viewpoints. The ugly bullying aside, also not pretty, this should be seen as a personality problem and raise serious questions about her suitability to be President.

    All that said, both houses of the legislative branch have brought this upon themselves with these public hearing charades. Nevertheless, by all means, let’s have live broadcasts of arguments before the Supreme Court. What could possibly go wrong?

CombatMissionary | July 17, 2019 at 8:45 pm

So in other words, she wants him to commit to a course of action that nobody else in his position has been legally bound by, and that, should her proposed bill pass, he WILL be bound by.

    artichoke in reply to CombatMissionary. | July 17, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    He could have said that if she gets her bill passed and it becomes law and applies to him, he’ll abide by it. But maybe his simple “no” was at least as good.

Warren is questioning other people’s ethical boundaries? The lady who lied her way into a Harvard professorship? No wonder she’s gaining in the polls. Democrat voters love lying politicians with absolutely no moral compass. Hillary anyone?

Each and every one of the Dhimmi-crat apparatchiks — both those seeking higher office, and, those not — are utterly worthless and contemptible.

Warren, like her Dhimmi-crat peers, embodies the worst traits of contemporary Leftist politics — self-serving narcissism, obnoxiousness and incivility, the apparatchik’s imperial arrogance, and, of course, a totally absurd and infantile hostility towards the private sector and the majority of Americans who toil there, an attitude born of the Dhimmis’ lifetime spent working in government.

I think she forgot that Raytheon is headquartered in Massachusetts, the state she represents in the Senate; or maybe she is just trying to “out Amazon” her fearless leader AOC in throwing jobs to the winds

    puhiawa in reply to Oldfogey. | July 17, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    I think she did indeed forget that…I mean she actually did not know.

    Massinsanity in reply to Oldfogey. | July 18, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Thank you for making this point. Not only is Raytheon headquartered in MA but it is one of the state’s largest employers and it includes high paying tech jobs spread across numerous facilities around Boston and good paying factory jobs at its plant in Andover, MA.

    The whole thing was a show. She had met with him in advance and scripted out her phony outrage based on responses she new she was going to get.

I’m sure that as POTUS, Warren would recuse herself of any activities involving Massachusetts, TARP, CFPB, Travelers Insurance and the Cherokee Nation.

It was most satisfying to see Fauxcapompous getting a Scud rocket up her wigwam. Well done, Mr. Esper. Well done!

She tried to scalp Esper and failed, proving once again she’s not an indian.

Shrieking Crow is becoming increasingly irrational. While her numbers are seemingly good, fund raising is mediocre and she excites no one. Like Sanders, we appear to be looking at a crazed fascist who can’t seem to get the voter traction, and thus becomes evermore irrational and flamboyant.

She’s trying to out-Kamala Harris.

Comanche Voter | July 18, 2019 at 12:39 am

Squaw on the warpath; but she brought a limp tomahawk.

A corrupt fraud like Fauxcahontas calling someone else a crook. Priceless.

Coleridge wrote that a conflict of interest is the pulley on which good character is hoist into public view.

I’m waiting for someone to respond when they’ve been cut off by saying “do you want to have both sides of this conversation or will you shut your mouth long enough for me to answer?”

Bitterlyclinging | July 18, 2019 at 7:29 am

Fauxcahontas, apparently eager for some additional Republican scalps.
Orange man bad.

Squaw talk like chicken crowing in morning like rooster.Ugh!

Little Fauxahontas got her panties on a knot when she wasn’t allowed her way.

A complete UTTER sophomoric MORON! THIS should not be in a ELECTED office.

How does one say “shrew” in Cherokee?

Pouncekitty | July 18, 2019 at 9:57 am

Most Americans are so tired of Warren’s bobbling head and wagging finger, always scolding and lecturing. She hates business, hates successful people, although she is a millionaire from her own corruption. Breathtaking ignorance and hypocrisy.

    Most Americans are so tired of Fauxcahontas’ hatred for our way of life.

    Warren has never gotten ahead in the private sector. She got “ahead” in the school setting by fraud. She should have been shamed-out of public life a long time ago. But, as a democrat, she’s valued as a crook.

    Corrupt leftists and fascists seek to destroy out society and replace its leadership with theirs. They then will loot the nation, and enslave us in the process.

    Wanna go for that? Nor do most Americans.

OrJustThink | July 18, 2019 at 9:59 am

Too bad her attitude and demeanor get in the way of her point. It is a great idea to remove large corporation’s candidates out of politics. Its the only way to change the channel on this corrupt, egocentric, money hungry swamp that we are all drowning in.

chrisboltssr | July 18, 2019 at 12:30 pm

Warren is running for president and she is attacking a potential employee of her competitor. Why did she not recuse herself as there is a blatant conflict of interest?

Pol, heal thyself!

Free State Paul | July 19, 2019 at 12:30 pm

When Elizabeth Warren gets agitated, she reminds me of Granny Clampett from “The Beverley Hillbillies.”


Thanks for the remembo, iconoclastic, and well worth a repeat.

“iconotastic | July 17, 2019 at 9:47 pm
Don’t forget the research misconduct summarized here

Oopsa, “iconotastic.”