New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has refused to accept an apology from Florida Representative Ted Yoho for calling her a "f*cking b*tch," The Hill reported. She claimed his explanation for his behavior does not equate to an apology.
On Monday, as The Hill reported at the time, a tense exchange took place between the two as they were coming down the steps of the Capitol Building. A reporter happened to be nearby when Yoho approached Ocasio-Cortez and said she was "disgusting" for blaming a recent spike in crime in New York City on poverty and unemployment. The city was particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
"You are out of your freaking mind," Yoho said, while Ocasio-Cortez called him "rude" in response.
As the two walked their separate ways, Yoho could be heard muttering under his breath, "f*cking b*tch."
At the time, Ocasio-Cortez called the exchange "disgusting."
"That kind of confrontation hasn't ever happened to me — ever. I've never had that kind of abrupt, disgusting kind of disrespect levied at me," she said.
Yoho, for his part, responded "no comment" when asked about it by a reporter.
The exchange drew criticism from both sides of the aisle in the House. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, urged Yoho to apologize. Similarly, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republian, called for civility on Tuesday and later met privately with Yoho, though what was said between the two men remains private.
On Wednesday, Yoho referenced the incident from the floor of the House, although whether or not what he said constitutes an apology is a matter of dispute.
"I rise today to apologize for the abrupt manner of the conversation I had with my colleague from New York. It is true that we disagree on policies and visions for America, but that does not mean we should be disrespectful," he said.
However, he appeared to deflect the fact that he had called his colleague a vulgar name, instead saying they were "words attributed to me by the press."
He also said that he can't "apologize for my passion or for loving my God, my family and my country."
In a tweet, which can be seen below, the freshman New York representative said that her colleagues's apology was not an apology at all. She also promised to use it as a teaching tool for the children in her own family and elsewhere.