Rep. Eric Swalwell, California Democrat, spoke Saturday about snapping at a staffer for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and said that he thinks people are “losing patience” with the Georgia Republican.
Interviewed on CNN, Mr. Swalwell recalled an exchange involving face masks that occurred a day earlier on Capitol Hill and had quickly culminated in him swearing at Greene spokesperson Nick Dyer.
“I thought, you know what, I’m tired of this s-t,” Mr. Swalwell said in a live TV interview. “These marauding goons who are going around trying to bully my other colleagues. So I just went up to him and asked him who he was, and I told him don’t tell me what to do, with some words you can’t say on CNN, and predictably he went speechless.”
Mr. Swalwell said the exchange started when the Green aide told him, “take your mask off, congressman.” Mr. Dyer later said he was joking and called the congressman’s response “actual verbal assault.”
“This is not the way it works around here,” Mr. Swallwell said on CNN. “I’ve worn a staff badge, and I’ve worn a member pin, and when I was a staffer I would never talk to a member of Congress like that. And my staffers tell me all the time, they would love to talk to Marjorie Taylor Greene and tell her what they think of her policies. But there’s still decorum and respect, and I think people are just losing patience with Greene.”
Ms. Greene has consistently made waves since joining Congress in January, including earlier this week for reportedly confronting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat, on Capitol Hill.
SEE ALSO: Eric Swalwell enters fray, clashes with Marjorie Taylor Greene’s aide over masks
More recently, CNN published a video Friday from 2019 that showed Ms. Greene taunting Ms. Ocasio-Cortez through a mailbox slot on the door of the Democrat’s office on Capitol Hill.
“I was a prosecutor. I’ve convicted people for less on stalking charges,” reacted Mr. Swalwell, who worked in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office before being elected to Congress.
“She is following Ms. Ocasio-Cortez around for years trying to engage with her. She just needs to let it go. She’s just not that into you, Marjorie Taylor Greene. I’m sorry,” Mr. Swalwell added.
The encounter between Mr. Swalwell and the Greene staffer occurred as face mask requirements put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic were relaxed under new guidance from health officials.
“I cordially and jovially said, ‘Congressman, Biden said you can take off your mask,’ as we walked by. I did not yell. I did not tell him to take his mask off,” Mr. Dwyer said Friday.
“He then chased me inside, aggressively leaned into me, got inches from my face.” Mr. Dwyer said. “It was actual verbal assault with an attempt at physical intimidation.”
• Andrew Blake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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