Angry Rep. Derrick Van Orden (Q–WI) blew a gasket late last night when he spotted teenagers lying on the ground in the Rotunda to pose for a photo during their last week as Senate pages. "Get the fuck up off the floor!" he shouted, calling the high school students a bunch of "jackasses" and "lazy shits," according to The Washington Post.
The unapologetic Van Orden later admitted to the Post that yes, he certainly did admonish the pages, because "our nation's Capitol is a symbol of the sacrifice our servicemen and women have made for this country and should never be treated like a frat house common room." Funny, coming from the MAGA man who marched from Donald Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally to the Capitol on Jan. 6 to support the insurrectionists who broke into the Rotunda to do a lot more than simply take selfies.
And funny, coming from a Congressman who had just been partying with a group of constituents in his office, leaving it littered with alcohol bottles that covered a table and filled a trashcan. (See image below, posted by Max Cohen.)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, for one, was disgusted with the unhinged gentleman, calling him "utterly despicable."
From Washington Post:
Senate pages are typically high school students who have a number of responsibilities assisting with the day-to-day operations at the Capitol, including shuttling material within the halls of Congress and acting as support staff. When the Senate continues its work late into the night, as it did Wednesday evening, pages are known to rest in the Rotunda — which is midway between the House and Senate chambers.
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) addressed the incident during remarks on the Senate floor Thursday evening.
"The pages can help make this place run smoothly. They're here when we need them, and they have served this institution with grace. However, I understand that late last night a member of the House majority thought it appropriate to curse at some of these young people, these teenagers, in the Rotunda," Schumer said, adding that he was both shocked to hear about the incident and shocked to hear that Van Orden refused to apologize.
Schumer later told reporters that both he and McConnell spoke to the Senate pages Thursday night. The majority leader called Van Orden "utterly despicable" and called him "a terrible outlier."
Even Van Orden's own party was disgusted with him, with Speaker Kevin McCarthy telling reporters he was "shocked" and planned on having a word with Van Orden.
From The Hill:
A transcript written by a page minutes after the incident, and obtained by The Hill, recalled Van Orden calling a group of 16- and 17-year-old pages "jackasses" and "pieces of s‑‑‑" for lying in the Capitol rotunda early Thursday morning. The rotunda is a common spot for pages to relax when Senate business goes late.
Schumer said on the Senate floor Thursday that he was "shocked" when he heard about the incident.
"I am further shocked at his refusal to apologize to these young people," Schumer said.
McConnell said he agreed with Schumer.
"Everybody on this side of the aisle feels exactly the same way," McConnell said on the Senate floor.
The story was first published in Punchbowl News.