Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-Wis.) on Thursday defended his questioning of Biden administration officials at a briefing this week on Israel after other lawmakers criticized him for what they called rude and obnoxious behavior.
“I did not use any vulgarity or any profanity,” Van Orden said while leaving a GOP conference meeting Thursday, referring to the earlier closed-door briefing. “However, I took the Biden administration to task.”
The briefers were filling in lawmakers on the Hamas attack on Israel that began Saturday. Van Orden called the briefers “incompetent,” according to Rep. Judy Chu’s (D-Calif.) office. He also reportedly told the briefers he knew more about the circumstances after “having served two tours of duty in the Middle East.”
Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips (D) yelled “shame on you” in response to Van Orden, which resulted in Van Orden dropping an f-bomb against Phillips, according to Politico. Politico was the first outlet to report the incident.
Van Orden acknowledged he was frustrated at the breifing.
“We now have Americans held hostage by terrorists in the Middle East,” Van Orden said Thursday. “At least 25 Americans have been murdered by savages. They’re killing Jews at a level that they haven’t done since the Holocaust. And the Biden administration is not acting.”
“So was I frustrated?” Van Orden continued. “Absolutely. You know why? Because that could be you. It could be your sister, it could be your brother.”
Van Orden has been in hot water for alleged profane behavior before. In July, he reportedly called a group of teenage Senate pages in the Capitol rotunda “jackasses” and “pieces of s‑‑‑,” and he told them he didn’t “give a f‑‑‑ who you are.”
“Who the f‑‑‑ are you?” Van Orden reportedly asked, to which a person responded that they were Senate pages. “I don’t give a f‑‑‑ who you are, get out.”
Emily Brooks contributed.
Source: The Hill