United States Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) on Thursday repeated an accusation that her Republican colleague Ted Yoho used a profane gender-based slur towards her earlier this week in an interaction on the Capitol steps.
“In front of reporters, Representative Yoho called me, and I quote, ‘a f**king bitch’,” she said on the House floor. “These are the words that Representative Yoho levied against a Congresswoman.”
AOC called gender-based slur by Congressman Yoho
The New York City Democrat took to the House floor to accuse Republican Ted Yoho of accosting her on the steps of the US Capitol on Monday.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who is often a target of conservatives, said the words showed a “pattern” of bad behaviour by men.
Mr Yoho denies saying the slur and has called for civility.
“This issue is not about one incident. It is cultural,” she told lawmakers, calling it a culture “of accepting a violence and violent language against women, an entire structure of power that supports that.”
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 23, 2020
She added that she was prepared to let the incident go until Mr Yoho “made excuses” by citing his wife and daughters in a speech on Wednesday.
Yoho has not admitted or denied using the phrase but on Wednesday he denied directing that phrase toward Ocasio-Cortez. He said he nevertheless apologised for the “abrupt manner of the conversation”.
“Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I’m very cognisant of my language. Offensive name-calling words attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleague, and if they were construed that way, I apologise for their misunderstanding. I cannot apologise for my passion, for loving my God, my family and my country,” he said on the House floor.
Slur was overheard by the media
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments were the latest in an escalating feud that started on Monday, when “The Hill” newspaper said that one of its reporters overheard Yoho’s comments.
According to the newspaper, Yoho had a brief exchange with Ocasio-Cortez in which he called her “disgusting” for previously suggesting that unemployment and poverty due to the Covid-19 pandemic is leading to a spike in crime in New York City.
Yoho told her she was out of her “freaking mind,” the paper reported, and walked off with Republican Texas Congressman Roger Williams. As they parted ways, the newspaper said Yoho uttered the slur.
Ocasio-Cortez suggested on Thursday that his actions demonstrate to the world how powerful men can be verbally aggressive towards women.
“You can have daughters and accost women without remorse,” she said. “You can be married, and accost women.”
AOC has openly criticised Republicans
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised some eyebrows last year, when she said that immigrant detention centers on the southern US border are “concentration camps,” while calling President Donald Trump a “fascist.”
“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border,” the New York congresswoman commonly known as “AOC” said, cutting right to the chase at the opening of her Instagram livestream.
“That is exactly what they are, they are concentration camps,” she repeated several times, leaving no room to interpretation that she was simply being hyperbolic. She said the same thing on Twitter.
This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.
This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis ⬇️https://t.co/2dWHxb7UuL
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 18, 2019
During the livestream, she invoked the phrase “never again,” which is commonly used in reference to the Holocaust. Ocasio-Cortez also called for open opposition to the “authoritarian and fascist presidency” she said was behind the measures.
Ocasio-Cortez had already drawn fire from conservatives last November, when she compared those “fleeing violence in central America” to “Jews fleeing Germany” in the 1930s. Her new comments provoked similar backlash.
DailyWire editor Ryan Saavedra accused her of anti-Semitism for invoking the Holocaust, and argued that comparing Trump to Hitler and asking supporters to “do something about it” sounded a lot like incitement of violence – grounds for getting suspended from Twitter.
GVS News Desk with additional information from other sources