Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has apologized to the top Democrat on the House oversight committee for cutting off his microphone at a contentious hearing on the IRS targeting scandal.
“I could have offered to reopen the hearing and allowed him to make a second statement,” he told the newspaper. “As chairman, I should have been much more sensitive to the mood of what was going on, and I take responsibility.”
Cummings confirmed in a statement that Issa did reach out to him.
“This evening, Chairman Issa telephoned me and apologized for his conduct, and I accepted his apology,” he said, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times. “My sincere hope is that as we move forward, we will respect the opinions of all members of the committee, we will proceed in a deliberate and considered manner to obtain the facts, we will refrain from making accusations that have no basis in fact, and we will seek resolution rather than unnecessary conflict.”
The Congressional Black Caucus had written to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Thursday to demand that Issa be removed from his chairmanship over the dustup. Boehner said Issa was “within his rights” when he cut off Cummings’ microphone.
Issa also wasn’t contrite in a prerecorded interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly that aired Thursday night. It’s unclear if the interview was taped before or after the apology.
“I did things according to the rules, I followed a script, and then Mr. Cummings decided to have quite a hissy fit,” he said. “The truth is, if he wants to talk, I give him a lot of chances to talk.”
Cummings has insisted that he was just “trying to actually help” Issa when he grew testy after his microphone was cut.
This post has been updated.