US Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 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*****g bitch,'" she said on the House floor. "These are the words that Representative Yoho levied against a Congresswoman."
Yoho has not admitted or denied using the phrase but on Wednesday he denied directing that phrase toward Ocasio-Cortez. He said he nevertheless apologized for the "abrupt manner of the conversation."
"Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I'm very cognizant 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 apologize for their misunderstanding. I cannot apologize for my passion, for loving my God, my family and my country," he said on the House floor.
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."