Republican Rep. Ted Yoho apologized Wednesday for the "abrupt manner" of his "conversation" with Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday—but said he cannot apologize for his "passion." In prepared comments read from the House floor, Yoho denied using "offensive, name-calling words" during the confrontation on the steps of the Capitol, NBC reports. "If they were construed that way I apologize for their misunderstanding," he said. Ocasio-Cortez says Yoho called her "disgusting" and "crazy," and a reporter from the Hill says he overheard Yoho say " f---ing b----" as he walked away. Ocasio-Cortez says the Florida lawmaker confronted her over remarks she made suggesting unemployment had led to a rise in crime in New York City.
"It is true that we disagree on policies and visions for America but that does not mean we should be disrespectful," Yoho continued. "Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I'm very cognizant of my language." The Hill reports that Ocasio-Cortez later said that she does not consider Yoho's remarks an apology. She said he "blamed others," "says everyone else is wrong," and misrepresented a "verbal assault" as a conversation. "I will not teach my nieces and young people watching that this an apology, and what they should learn to accept," she tweeted. "Yoho is refusing responsibility." (Read more Ted Yoho stories.)