Channeling his inner Brian Stelter, the CNN host who showed viewers he proudly goes pantless while on national television, a Democrat House member got caught in his boxers and a Captain America shirt in a Zoom congressional hearing.
The video began circulating on Twitter, which shows New Jersey Rep. Donald Payne questionably dressed for a House Committee on Homeland Security meeting to decide how much funding the department should receive in 2022. The hearing aired on C-SPAN Thursday morning.
Payne is seen in the below video waking from a nap, to which he got off his bed and his belly hung out. He wore light blue underwear and a darker Captain America t-shirt. Upon leaving the camera, other congressmen can be seen in awe.
A spokesman for the New Jersey Democrat’s office confirmed the video is legitimate and that he was in his underwear. “Another reason Democrats should get off Zoom and back to work. #The StruggleisReal,” tweeted Texas Republican Rep. Beth Van Duyne.
— Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne (@RepBethVanDuyne) June 17, 2021
“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,” Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., tweeted.
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. https://t.co/Sqh6BdZ4W7
— Rep. Brian Mast (@RepBrianMast) June 17, 2021
Payne issued a statement to Fox News saying that “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.”
After the public servant was found sleeping on the job, Payne’s junior legislative director sounded off on supposed fat-shaming.
“Hey Congresswoman, Rep. Payne, Jr.’s Legislative Director here. It’s no secret that as a diabetic the Congressman has his weight struggles. But we try to stick to policy here in Congress,” Sam Morgante said.
This is not the first example of nap time for the Democrat. Payne was caught sleeping in March during a House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing.