Democratic Lawmaker Who Ate KFC at Hearing to Mock William Barr Says Chicken 'Was Cold and Wasn't Wonderful'

Democratic Rep. Steve Coehn (D-Tenn.), who ate Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) during a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week to mock Attorney General William Barr, has admitted that the chicken "wasn't wonderful."

Cohen called out Barr for being too chicken to testify before the committee on Thursday by bringing a bucket of chicken from KFC and a statue of a chicken to the hearing. When he arrived inside the room, Cohen joking said "he's here" to colleagues before placing the statue on the empty table where Barr would have been sat if he showed up to testify before lawmakers.

During a Sunday appearance on MSNBC, Cohen clarified to host Alex Witt that the stunt was meant to be humorous. "It was humor, the New York Times referred to it as levity [and] that's what I intended," he said, adding that his "adviser on the Twitter," comedian Sarah Silverman, had told him that bringing the chicken and statute was "a hat on a hat" — known in comedy circles as two funny things on top of each other.

"I intended to create the #ChickenBarr and bring home that he was chicken to stand up to 30 minutes of questioning by our two counsels," Cohen added. "I hammed it up a bit, which is a bad thing for a Jewish guy to do, by eating some of the chicken."

Saturday Night Live mocked Cohen's KFC stunt during this weekend's episode with two mentions. One during the show's cold open and the second by Weekend Update host Colin Jost, who ridiculed Cohen's move by joking that he sent an intern out in the middle of the night to source some KFC.

"Well this Thursday in Congress was take your chicken to work day," Jost said on SNL. "And just think about the poor intern who had to go find a KFC at dawn."

"One of my staffers went out the night before and got some KFC," Cohen told MSNBC on Sunday, setting the record straight on how he came to possess the props. "Another staffer brought in the porcelain ceramic chicken."

"It was cold and wasn't wonderful and was not my favorite brand," the Democratic lawmaker added.

Before Barr official backed out of the hearing, Cohen told CNN last month that if he "is chicken to face the House Judiciary Committee, he's not worthy of being a United States attorney general." Following the mock hearing on Thursday, Cohen reiterated his criticisms of Barr, saying "chicken Barr should've shown up today and answered questions."

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) takes a bite of chicken after Attorney General William Barr was a no show for a House Judiciary Committee hearing, on Capitol Hill May 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. Cohen told MSNBC on Sunday that the chicken he ate "wasn't wonderful." Mark Wilson/Getty Images