Last Updated on January 12, 2023

MSNBC’s Joy Reid got into an aggressive spat with Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) Tuesday, accusing the Florida rep. of being a “diversity statement.”

Reid contested Donalds was only nominated for Speaker of the House to help Republicans make a “diversity statement.”

The MSBC host also attacked Donalds for being only a sophomore congressman, fueling her assertion that Donalds was put in the Speaker running because of his race.

“You got into it back-and-forth with a fellow congresswoman who was critical of the nomination because it definitely looked like they were looking for a response to Hakeem Jeffries in you,” Reid said, referencing Democrat Rep. Cori Bush’s tweet which called Donalds a “prop.”

READ MORE: Video: Byron Donalds Challenges Cori Bush To Debate Him On Policy

“No, that was not it,” Rep. Donalds interjected.

Reid continued pushing a narrative that suggested Donalds was only supported by Republicans because Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the Democrats’ speaker nominee, was black.

“You’ve literally been there for one term. So you’ve never been in leadership. I’m asking you the question…[Republican] members have said, is that they wanted to highlight the diversity of the conference,” Reid added before noting there are only four black House Republicans compared to 56 black House Democrats.

“So just, it’s more diverse…So do you not believe that the idea was to make a diversity statement by nominating you,” she asked.

Rep. Donalds shot down her claim, saying he was nominated because “a lot of members actually do believe in my ability to lead.”

“Am I to be despised for my youth? Because I’ve served one term? My members know that I have the ability to engage other members to the conference, but it’s even bigger than that,” the Florida rep. continued. ”


Following the interview, Donalds’ wife, who is white, took to Twitter to say Reid looked “foolish.”

“Joy Reid wouldn’t allow my husband speak because he kept making her look foolish! He brought facts and receipts, while all she had were empty Democrat talking points. @ByronDonalds showed her (and everyone) why he would be well qualified for #SOTH [Speaker of the House]!” Erika Donalds posted to Twitter.

“Byron and I have been together for 23+ years, and the most racist attacks we experience are always from the left. They can’t accept that a free thinking black man achieves success on his own merits, and they sure as heck can’t stand that he’s married to me,” she added in a latter tweet.

Stay tuned to National File for any updates.

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