U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert asked a group of Jewish tourists visiting a congressman at the Capitol on Thursday if they were there to do ‘reconnaissance.’
A rabbi in the group told BuzzFeed News that Boebert, of Colorado, looked at the group ‘from head to toe’ before making the remark, as he noted that some of them were wearing yarmulkes and had traditional Orthodox beards.
‘When I heard that, I actually turned to the person standing next to me and asked, ”Did you just hear that,”’ the rabbi said.
Boebert, who is no stranger to making controversial remarks, told BuzzFeed that she was joking and referencing the accusations she faced over leading late-night tours of the Capitol weeks before the January 6 riot.
‘I saw a large group and made a joke,’ she said, adding: ‘I’m too short to see anyone’s yarmulkes.’
The rabbi and other Jewish visitors came to the Capitol as part of a meeting with Rep. Tom Suozzi, a New York Democrat, to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the end of the Iran hostage crisis.
US Rep. Lauren Boebert asked Jewish tourists at the Capitol on Thursday if they were there for ‘reconnaissance.’
Boebert claimed she was just joking about the accusations Democrats made of her holding late night tours at the Capitol weeks before the January 6 riot. Here, Boebert’s son and mother are pictured with a Capitol Police officer on December 12, 2020
Suozzi, who is proposing to recognize the hostages of the incident with a Congressional Gold Medal, condemned Boebert for her comments.
‘The bottom line is that everyone, especially members of Congress, have to be very, very thoughtful in the language they use,’ he said in a statement about the incident.
‘Because when you’re a member of Congress, you have an important role to play in society. You can’t be cavalier in the comments you make especially if they could be perceived as being anti-Semitic, or discriminatory.’
The rabbi added that the Jewish community is on alert following the events last week in Texas where an armed man held four people hostage at a synagogue.
‘You know, I’m not sure to be offended or not,’ the rabbi told BuzzFeed. ‘I was very confused.’
Boebert had been accused of holding after-hours tours of the white house on December 12 as pictures of her family at tour sites in the Capitol surfaced.
Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal requested the Ethics Committee investigate Boebert along with Republican Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama and Paul Gosar of Arizona, who he accused of ‘instigating and aiding’ the deadly Capitol riot.
The Ethics Committee declined to investigate the claims, and Boebert called the story ‘false.’
Boebert’s son, pictured here in the Brumidi Corridors, received the tour the tour three weeks before Jan. 6 on a Saturday night, when the Capitol complex is closed
The tour included the staircase in the Senate’s empty Brumidi Corridors, Senate Room S-127 and the Senate briefing room, where Boebert’s son is pictured above
In November, Boebert stirred up controversy by calling Rep. Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota, a member of the ‘jihad squad,’ likening her to an Islamic terrorist.
Boebert made suicide bomber jokes about the Muslim Democrat and asked if Omar should register as a ‘foreign agent.’
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said in December that he wouldn’t take any action against Boebert.
‘I think when somebody does something that is wrong they apologize. Lauren Boebert apologized publicly and then picked up the phone – it took a lot of effort, she wanted to meet personally, denied the ability to meet personally – she picked up the phone and she called Congresswoman Omar, she said I want to personally apologize, and that’s what she did,’ McCarthy said.
McCarthy claimed that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (left) was apologized to by Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert. Boebert initially put out an apologetic tweet, but then took back her apology while on the phone with Omar
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Friday that she was disappointed Democratic leadership didn’t schedule a vote to remove Rep. Lauren Boebert from her committees, after the Colorado Republican made several Islamophobic jokes at the expense of Rep. Ilhan Omar
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, had called on her own leadership to go after Boebert, with the Republicans refusing to do anything to punish the Colorado Republican.
‘It’s embarrassing that there is any hesitation on this. How can we have different consequences for different kinds of bigotry or incitement?’ the New York Democrat asked. ‘This should be treated equally and consistently. Incite against a member and you’re stripped. End of story.’
She continued, ‘It’s a pretty simple question: does the House accept violent Islamophobia or not?’
Ocasio-Cortez also accused Boebert of tweeting out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s location during the January 6 Capitol attack.