hot take on the hot mic
July 12, 2018

Democratic Reps. Kathleen Rice (N.Y.) and Lou Correa (Calif.) let their real opinions fly free once they thought they had finished up at Thursday's House Homeland Security Committee hearing. Instead, their not-so-private fiery exchange was caught by Politico reporter Eric Geller.

Describing the "open-mic moment," Geller noted that Rice and Correa were apparently upset by the answers they got from two top DHS officials, who declined to answer when the lawmakers asked whether they agreed with the intelligence community's conclusion that Russia attempted to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

"Truly outrageous. It's outrageous ... F--king outrageous," said Rice, still on mic. "They have no right being in the positions that they're in if they don't take a position like that. No right." Correa, also on mic, gave the DHS officials the benefit of the doubt, pointing out that "they're not gonna put their jobs at risk." Rice wasn't having it, saying they "can get a job somewhere else" if they don't want to answer questions at congressional hearings. "Give me a f--king break," she said, with which Correa concurred.

When a staffer said that other DHS staffers had already agreed with the conclusions of the report, Rice continued to excoriate the officials who had demurred at the hearing. "This is what I'm saying," she said. "Just say yes!" Thursday has been chock-full of tense hearings — stay tuned to see if any other lawmakers say something ferocious. Summer Meza

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