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Rep. Ted Yoho: ‘I can’t apologize because I didn’t say that'

Apology demanded from GOP lawmaker for Ocasio-Cortez remark

This combo shows Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., walks Capitol Hill in Washington, on March 27, 2020, left, and Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., at the Capitol in Washington on March 28, 2017. A top House Democrat demanded an apology Tuesday, July 21, 2020, from Yoho who is accused of using a sexist slur after an angry encounter with Ocasio-Cortez. (AP Photo, File)
This combo shows Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., walks Capitol Hill in Washington, on March 27, 2020, left, and Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., at the Capitol in Washington on March 28, 2017. A top House Democrat demanded an apology Tuesday, July 21, 2020, from Yoho who is accused of using a sexist slur after an angry encounter with Ocasio-Cortez. (AP Photo, File)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The House’s No. 2 Democratic leader is demanding an apology from a Republican lawmaker who is accused of using a sexist slur after what was said to be a confrontation with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The Hill newspaper said one of its reporters witnessed the Monday encounter between Ocasio-Cortez and Florida GOP Rep. Ted Yoho.

The Hill reported that Yoho told Ocasio-Cortez that comments she had made linking poverty to a crime increase in New York were “disgusting.” The Hill reported that Yoho uttered a sexist slur when the conversation ended.

RELATED: Apology demanded from GOP lawmaker for Ocasio-Cortez remark

Yoho spoke to News4Jax about what was reported by The Hill.

“It was the word BS. I said it’s a bunch of BS about her policies. And there was two reporters, like I said, at the base of the steps, and I was 25 to 30 feet away. My back was to them. And so they said ‘Well, can you tell us what your conversation was?' I said, ‘No comment,‘” Yoho told News4Jax.

In a tweet Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said she had never spoken to Yoho ``before he decided to accost me'' as they passed each other on the Capitol’s outdoor steps during a vote.

“I think she has reported that I accosted her twice. I did not. We had another vote series. We happened to cross paths again. And she went past me. And I didn’t say a word until she said something,” Yoho said.

Congressman Steny Hoyer is demanding the apology for Ocasio-Cortez.

“I can’t apologize because I didn’t say that,” Yoho said. “Could I have handled this differently? Yeah. You know, like I said I could have set up a meeting and say ‘Hey, I’d like to talk to you about your, your policies.' And, you know, for that, if I’ve embarrassed my constituents, I apologize for that. And we’re going to make a statement on the House floor tomorrow (Wednesday).”

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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