WASHINGTON, D.C. (KXAN) — A Texas Congressman who represents part of Austin is denying a report in The Hill newspaper that he and another Republican colleague verbally accosted Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez outside the U.S. Capitol this week.
The reporting states that Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida called Ocasio-Cortez a “f—— b—-” after he walked away from confronting her and telling her that she was “disgusting” for her recent comments about crime during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I never spoke to Rep. Yoho before he decided to accost me on the steps of the nation’s Capitol yesterday,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday morning. “Believe it or not, I usually get along fine w/ my GOP colleagues. We know how to check our legislative sparring at the committee door. But hey, ‘b*tches’ get stuff done.”
The report also states Rep. Roger Williams, who represents the 25th District of Texas, witnessed the vitriolic comments from Yoho. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday that Williams also participated.
“Gotta love Republican courage from Rep @RogerWilliamsTX: when he undeniably sees another man engaged in virulent harassment of a young woman, just pretend you never saw it in the most cartoonish manner possible and keep pushing. (He’s lying, by the way. He joined in w/ Yoho),” she tweeted.
In another tweet, she wrote, “What’s wild to me @RogerWilliamsTX is why would you blatantly lie to a reporter who saw this exchange? You were yelling at me too, about ‘throwing urine.'”
Heather Douglass, the communications director for Williams, sent the following statement Tuesday afternoon denying his involvement:
“The Congressman did not participate in the exchange between Congressman Yoho and Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, nor did he hear what was said in their conversation. Any comments overheard or attributed to Congressman Williams were part of a separate conversation that he and Congressman Yoho were having. Congressman Williams would have immediately condemned that type of language towards any colleague.”
Other Democrats came to Ocasio-Cortez’s defense on social media after the article was published.
Rep. Ruben Gallego, who represents Arizona’s seventh Congressional district, posted Tuesday on his Twitter account, “I have suggested the same thing that @aoc has poverty & unemployment lead to crime. Weird neither Yoho or any other member has ever talked to me that way.”
Rep. Dean Phillips from Minnesota’s third Congressional District also tweeted, “Like @aoc, I believe poverty to be a root cause of crime. Wonder why Rep. Yoho hasn’t accosted me on the Capitol steps with the same sentiment? #shameful“
Former Secretary of State John Kerry weighed in Tuesday on Twitter, too. He wrote, “That language towards women has no place in Congress, let alone our society. I enjoyed working with @AOC these last months – she’s smart as hell and cares more about her constituents and country than I could adequately describe in a single tweet.”