Rep. Steve Cohen, who learned last week that a previously unknown woman he believed was his daughter was not his, said Monday in response to an eyebrow-raising tweet that his constituents don’t see him as a white person.
A DNA test revealed last week that a daughter the Tennessee Democrat thought was his — and who he tweeted at during this year’s State of the Union, to the surprise of many — showed otherwise.
But his comments Monday came in explaining the following Tweet:
“Told AfricanAmerican towdriver my week -father -DNA test not father reporter/ attractive fallout. he (not aware of TN9) says, You’re BLack! Yo.”
“Find daughter: great. Find out it’s not daughter: blitz. Say something nice to a reporter, get attacked,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It’s just been hell. He goes, ‘Man — you’re black.’ And I took it as a compliment — I hear it in Memphis all the time. My constituents don’t look at me as a white person. They say, ‘you’re one of us’ … District 9 is a microcosm of how America can work.”
Asked last week to comment about the situation with his daughter, Mr. Cohen told Caitlin Huey-Burns of Real Clear Politics that “you’re very attractive, but I’m not talking about it.” He later apologized, saying it’s a difficult and personal time for him, Ms. Huey-Burns said.
Mr. Cohen also talked Monday about his work to try to pass language apologizing for Jim Crow-era laws and reforming the country’s prison system.
“I just want to make clear — the press has made this a story; this is a personal tragedy that should be allowed for me and Victoria to deal with independently,” he said of the situation involving Victoria Brink.
During this year’s State of the Union Address, Mr. Cohen tweeted “ilu,” or “I love you,” at Victoria Brink, later revealing Ms. Brink was his biological daughter (or so he thought at the time).