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WATCH: GOP Congressman Chokes Up Eulogizing Best Friend Elijah Cummings

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) gave an emotional eulogy on Thursday for his “dear friend” and Democratic colleague Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who was lying in state at the United States Capitol.
“We are called to give honor where honor is due and so it is fitting that we are here today to honor a friend,” Meadows said. “He’s called a number of things: a father, husband, friend, chairman. For me, I was privileged enough to call him a dear friend. Some have classified it as an unexpected friendship, but for those of us that know Elijah, it’s not unexpected or surprising.”
Cummings had passed away last week due to complications concerning “longstanding health challenges.” The 68-year-old congressman served as the chairman of the prestigious U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform and represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District for more than two decades.

Meadows and Cummings had both been known to refer to the other as a best friend, despite their obvious differences. Meadows founded the conservative House Freedom Caucus and has been one of President Donald Trump’s staunchest defenders, while Cummings was a proud progressive and a key figure in the impeachment inquiry into the president.
While paying tribute to his late friend in National Statuary Hall, Meadows described Cummings as having “a smile that would consume his whole face” but that “he also had eyes that would pierce through anybody that was standing in his way.”
“Not only was he a quality man, but we were able to share a number of personal stories and intimate secrets that Elijah never shared with anyone because he was a man of his word, and he said he never would,” Meadows said. “And yet, through the tears of the past few days, I’m reminded of one particular conversation because of who Elijah is.”
“I reminded him not too long ago of a quip that me made,” he continued. “He said Darrell Issa was going to make him famous, and I reminded him that he is not defined by other people. He is defined by the character of his heart, the honesty of his dialogue, and the man that we will miss.”
The duo’s close friendship was thrown into the spotlight in February after freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) accused Meadows of being racist during an Oversight Committee hearing. Meadows, who was visibly upset, demanded that Cummings strike her remarks from the Congressional record.
“I’ve said it – and gotten in trouble for it – that you’re one of my best friends,” Cummings said to Meadows in front of the committee while trying to diffuse the heated situation.
“Scripture talks about, ‘Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me,'” Meadows continued during his eulogy. “‘In my father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.’ So Elijah has left his tent to go to a mansion, a better place.”

“Perhaps this place and this country would be better served with a few more unexpected friendships,” he added. “I know I’ve been blessed by one.”

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