Florida Rep. Ted Yoho (R) launched an ugly personal attack against New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) when he met her on the steps of the Capitol on Monday, according to a reporter for The Hill who overheard the exchange.
The congressman allegedly called Ocasio-Cortez “disgusting” for comments she has made linking economic insecurity to a recent spike in crime in New York City.
“You are out of your mind,” he told her.
Yoho was walking down the steps of the building as Ocasio-Cortez was walking up when he accosted her, The Hill reported.
The congresswoman then reportedly told Yoho he was being “rude,” and walked away.
A few steps down, Yoho called his House colleague a “fucking bitch,” according to the outlet.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to the attack Tuesday morning, saying that she had never spoken to Yoho before Monday.
“Believe it or not, I usually get along fine [with] my GOP colleagues. We know how to check our legislative sparring at the committee door,” she wrote in a tweet.
“But hey, ‘b*tches’ get stuff done,” she said.
The congresswoman also hit back at Texas Rep. Roger Williams (R), who was with Yoho at the time. She accused Williams of lying after he told The Hill that he was not really paying attention to the exchange between the other two.
“You were yelling at me too, about ‘throwing urine,’” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Brian Kaveney, a spokesman for Yoho, denied the events as reported by The Hill, saying that the congressman had “a brief member to member conversation” with Ocasio-Cortez. There was no name-calling, he said.
“Instead, he made a brief comment to himself as he walked away, summarizing what he believes her polices to be: bullshit,” Kaveney said in a statement to HuffPost.
Williams did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Ocasio-Cortez has suggested that an increase in violent crime across her home city is being driven by economic instability caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“When people do not have opportunities ― I can tell you from my personal experience and what I saw growing up ― when families don’t have money, a lot of times young people and teens that feel like they need to support their mom, sometimes they’ll turn to selling drugs, which can then lead to an escalated level of trouble, to what police label as gang activity,” she said last week at a campaign event in Queens.
“So the idea that violent crime is somehow immune, or totally separated, from the economic situation that people are going through right now, I think that’s mistaken.”
Yoho announced late last year that he would be retiring from Congress at the end of 2020, citing a pledge he made when first elected.