The New York City congresswoman confirmed she was harassed in public by two male Republican reps.
On July 9, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was part of a virtual town hall in which she discussed the connection between crime rates and the pandemic. The conversation, which included the mothers of Eric Garner and Ramarley Graham, two Black men who were killed by New York City police officers, apparently didn’t sit well with some Republican congressmen. The Hill is reporting that it was that discussion that caused Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) to lash out at Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and verbally assault her in public on the steps of Capitol Hill.
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“In a brief but heated exchange, which was overheard by a reporter, Yoho told Ocasio-Cortez she was ‘disgusting’ for recently suggesting that poverty and unemployment are driving a spike in crime in New York City during the coronavirus pandemic,” according to The Hill.
The report goes on to say that Rep. Yoho told Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, “You are out of your freaking mind.” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez responded by saying that he was being “rude.” But Rep. Yoho wasn’t done. He also called her a “F*cking b*tch.”
On Twitter, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez confirmed the verbal assault and said, “I never spoke to Rep. Yoho before he decided to accost me on the steps of the nation’s Capitol yesterday. 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.”
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez also went on to dispute the claim made by Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX), who was walking alongside Rep. Yoho when the incident occurred and said he didn’t hear the exchange. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said that not only did he hear Rep. Yoho verbally assault her but that he joined in as well.
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“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,” she tweeted. “(He’s lying, by the way. He joined in w/ Yoho).”
She added, “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.'”
Democrat colleagues jumped to the defense of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and her views regarding a surge in petty crime and the pandemic by asking Rep. Yoho why he has never confronted them the same way he did with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) tweeted, “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 (D-MN) tweeted, “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“