‘You jackasses, get out!’ GOP House member responds to reports he cursed out Senate pages in rotunda rant

A Republican House member issued a defiant statement after he allegedly berated a group of high school Senate pages in a profanity-laden rant in the Capitol rotunda early Thursday morning.

Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-Wisc.) was reported to have cussed out the pages, a group of 16-17 year-olds who regularly work late hours and were assisting the Senate with amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) late Wednesday night, burning the midnight oil into the wee hours of the morning.

Van Orden, a retired Navy SEAL who represents Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District, reportedly called the youngsters who were lying on their backs “jackasses” and told them to “wake the f‑‑‑ up you little s‑‑‑‑.” according to a “transcript written by a page minutes after the incident” and obtained by The Hill.

“Wake the f‑‑‑ up you little s‑‑‑‑. … What the f‑‑‑ are you all doing? Get the f‑‑‑ out of here. You are defiling the space you [pieces of s‑‑‑],” he said, according to the outlet, citing the page who provided the account.

“Who the f‑‑‑ are you?” Van Orden is alleged to have asked, with one person telling the congressman that they were Senate pages. “I don’t give a f‑‑‑ who you are, get out. You jackasses, get out,” he said.

A reporter for Punchbowl News later posted a picture of bottles of booze in the lawmaker’s office, tweeting that “Van Orden and staff were heard partying loudly before he cursed out a group of teenage Senate pages.”

“How do you say you have never been to Wisconsin without saying you have never been to Wisconsin?” Van Orden responded. “Those were constituents, you must be a flat-lander.”

After the media and Democrats seized upon the incident to gin up more manufactured outrage, Van Orden issued a defiant statement.

“The Capitol Rotunda served as a field hospital when countless Union soldiers died fighting to free men in the Civil War. I have long said our nation’s Capitol is a symbol of the sacrifice our servicemen and women have made for this country and should never treated like a frat house common room. Threatening a congressman with bad press to excuse poor behavior is a reminder of everything that’s wrong with Washington. Luckily, bad press has never bothered me and if it’s the price I pay for standing up for what’s right, then so be it,” he said.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to shamelessly stir the pot, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) addressed the incident from the Senate floor on Thursday.

“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. I was shocked when I heard about it, and I am further shocked at his refusal to apologize to these young people,” the New York City Democrat said.

“I can’t speak for the House of Representatives, but I do not think that one member’s disrespect is shared by this body, by Leader Mitch McConnell and myself,” Schumer whined.

(Video: YouTube/Derrick Van Orden)

“I would think that it’d be terribly disrespectful to lay on the grave of a soldier that died fighting for freedom,” Rep. Van Orden told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “And I don’t know anybody that disagrees.”

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