Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien said Thursday he would be willing to sit down with the Republican senator who challenged him to a fight earlier this week, but the labor chief added he would come prepared.
Talking about how Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) thought he would “bite” in a fight, O’Brien told Fox Business Network host Neil Cavuto that “I’ll be wearing my football gear” if a meeting takes place .
“I have no problem sitting with anyone. I wouldn’t have a problem sitting down with Senator Mullin,” O’Brien said, before adding, “I don’t want to be bitten or shot or beaten with a stick for that matter, so I’m going to have to defend myself.”
O’Brien and Mullin came to blows Tuesday during a contentious hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Mullin was referring to social media posts made by the Teamsters boss a few months back, suggesting the two tangles, including one that read: “Stop acting like a tough guy in these Senate hearings. You know where to find me. Any place.”
“Sir, this is the time, this is the place. Do you want to run your mouth? We can be two consenting adults. “We can finish it here,” Mullin exclaimed.
O’Brien replied, “I’d like to do it right away,” and the two exchanged taunts. Then Mullin rose from his seat, looking ready for battle.
Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 82, quickly stepped in and defused the situation.
“It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen,” O’Brien told Cavuto. “First, he says we’re consenting adults, which was weird because it sounded like he wanted to date me.”
“Then he wanted to fight me and now I hear he wanted to bite me. And then the last post he did was in front of a stash of automatic weapons where he says anytime, anywhere,” O’Brien continued.
“Make up your mind. Do you want to date me, fight me, bite me or shoot me? This is crazy.”
O’Brien referenced a podcast appearance Wednesday, during which Mullin said, “I’ll bite 100 percent.” In a fight I will bite. I will do anything. I’m not over it and by the way I don’t care where I bite.
Mullin is a former MMA fighter, but O’Brien wasn’t impressed and still thinks he can kick the senator’s ass.
“If you look at his opponents, most of them have losing records and everything,” O’Brien chided, noting that he has a few high school football games under his belt.
The Teamsters boss was also adamant that he did not regret the Oklahoman’s provocation.
“No because [during] in my first interaction with Senator Mullin in my first hearing, he attacked me personally about my salary,” O’Brien said. “Then he tried to disparage everyone on the committee.”
“He’s acting like a 12-year-old in a schoolyard,” he added.
“I may not respect Markwayne Mullin, but I respect the US senator’s position.”
Mullin has since raised funds for the confrontation.
The 46-year-old senator previously said he would take on disgraced former porn star Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti, but that also hasn’t materialized.
Mullin was elected to the House in 2012 and moved up to the Senate after winning a special election to succeed retiring Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) last year.
The Teamsters boasts 1.2 million members, is one of the nation’s largest unions, and represents workers in the transportation, railroad and publishing industries.
O’Brien also declined to endorse President Biden for re-election on Thursday, telling Cavuto, “We haven’t made those decisions yet.”