Lynne Patton, the surprise guest of Cohen's audience, sparked a remarkable exchange on racism

A few hours before this exchange, Patton sat behind and was introduced by Republican Rep. Mark Meadows at the hearing and stood up when Meadows began his interrogation. Meadows introduced Patton, an African-American woman, as a rebuttal of Cohen's claim that Trump is a "racist".

Patton is a longtime member of the Trump family. He is now a senior political officer in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. Cohen introduced her to the family and Patton became ungrateful in Trump's world. She served as Vice President of the Eric Trump Foundation. Patton worked as an event organizer for the Trump family and planned Eric Trump's wedding in 2014.

Patton was among the speakers at the Republican National Convention in 2016 and was a substitute for the Trump campaign. Following the election, Patton began working at HUD in June 2017 as a regional director of the New York and New Jersey offices. Critics of Patton's appointment to HUD have pointed out his lack of experience in federal housing policy.

His tenure at HUD was marked by his frank and controversial personal tweets. Patton called White House correspondent April Ryan "Miss Piggy" on Twitter, for which she later apologized.

RELATED: Lynne Patton, senior HUD official, tries to clarify some controversial social issues

She also accused CNN of making a hurricane cover for Florence and commented with approval on a message posted on Instagram mocking an alleged victim of sexual assault.

The appearance of Patton on Wednesday at Capitol Hill seems to be on time.

"Lynne is on leave today and is attending the hearing in her personal capacity," HUD spokeswoman CNN Raffi Williams told CNN. Patton's office is based in Manhattan.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday morning, Patton said she was there to "support" President Trump and the truth.

When CNN asked him why Patton was here, Meadows replied, "She has information". But Patton did not speak during the hearing nor provided this information.

As the hearing drew to a close, Michigan representative Rashida Tlaib, the latest Democratic presenter, blamed Meadows for bringing Patton.

"The fact that someone is actually using an accessory, a black woman, in this assembly of this committee is racist on its own," Tlaib said.

Meadows immediately accused Tlaib of breaking the decorum and asked that his words be removed. After several minutes of discussion with the chairman of the committee, Elijah Cummings, representative of Maryland, representative of Maryland, Tlaib said that she meant simply calling the action racist, not Meadows himself. Meadows accepted this explanation.

NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect the exchange between representatives. Rashida Tlaib and Mark Meadows.

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