The Craziest Capitol Hill Moments of 2018

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Posted: Jan 01, 2019 12:15 PM
The Craziest Capitol Hill Moments of 2018

We get fireworks every year on Capitol Hill in the form of hearings, press conferences, or just some good old off the cuff remarks in the halls of Congress. 2018 was no exception. Here are just a few of the year's most memorable Washington moments.

Rep. Billy Long turns a hearing with the Twitter CEO into a live auction.

A protester who interrupted a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the moderation of online content in September with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey found she was no match for Rep. Billy Long (R-MO). You see, before he was a congressman, he was a live auctioneer.

Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees, and gets an earful from Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA).

The Facebook CEO faced a reckoning over his company's user privacy issues. Several reports revealed that users' data had been compromised on multiple occasions. Congress wanted to know what Zuckerberg planned to do about it.

The most entertaining exchange happened between him and Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), who used some of his typical blunt style to lay out the core issue for Zuckerberg.

“Here’s what everyone’s been trying to tell you today — and I say it gently — your user agreement sucks,” Kennedy said. “The purpose of a user agreement is to cover Facebook’s rear end, not inform users of their rights.”

Zuckerberg said he imagines that “most people do not read the whole thing,” but they have the “opportunity” to.

Diamond and Silk spar with Democrats over social media censorship.

President Trump supporters Diamond and Silk, AKA Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, testified on Capitol Hill back in April claiming Facebook had censored their conservative content for six months. Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Hank Johnson (D-GA) challenged them on that accusation.

In particular, Johnson tried to suggest that Diamond and Silk were hypocritical for "bashing" Facebook, while still profiting on their platform.

“We didn't bash Facebook,” Hardaway said. “We brought the light on how Facebook has been censoring conservative voices like ours... They won't let us monetize on Facebook. They stopped it for six months, 29 days. They limited our page.”

The two said that Facebook demonetized 95 percent of their videos and suppressed their free speech "because they support the president," they concluded.

There were even more fireworks during their Q&A session with Rep. Lee.

Lindsey Graham 2.0's retort for an anti-Kavanaugh protester. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) turned into the conservative heroin 2018 for pushing back at criticism over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Here was one of his more memorable retorts against a female protester who demand the nominee take a polygraph test.

"Why don't we dunk him in water and see if he floats?"

Peter Strzok is grilled by lawmakers about his anti-Trump bias...and his extramarital affair.

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok faced several angry lawmakers in July as he answered questions about the thousands of anti-Trump texts sent between himself and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), like many Americans, were incensed by Strzok's clear hatred of Trump, especially considering the agent participated in both the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails and Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. When pressed about his firing from the agency, Strzok insisted he was not fired because of bias and he didn't "appreciate" the insinuation.

"I don't give a damn what you appreciate, Agent Strzok," Gowdy responded. "I don't appreciate having an FBI agent with an unprecedented level of animus working on two major investigations during 2016."

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) one upped Gowdy, however, with this stinging analysis of Strzok's character. 

"I've talked to FBI agents around the country," Gohmert said. "You've embarrassed them; you've embarrassed yourself. And I can't help but wonder, when I see you looking there with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife's eye and lie to her about Lisa Page?"

Democrats on the panel chided Gohmert for those remarks. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) even told the Republican he must "need his medication."

Strzok said the comment proved less about his character than it did Gohmert's.

Brett Kavanaugh's fiery testimony defending his honor.

Kavanaugh burst into the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room on September 27 with his opening statement. He had just heard the testimony of his accuser Christine Blasey Ford, who swore that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party over 30 years ago. He denied it all, while glaring at the Democrats on the panel who during the course of the controversy referred to him as "evil." He condemned them for destroying his integrity and noted that their words have often resulted in threats against his family. He kept that fire throughout the entire statement.

It was instantly iconic and was even spoofed on "Saturday Night Live" by Matt Damon.