House

Chip Roy ‘saddened’ by Ocasio-Cortez’s experience of sexual assault, but remains firm on calling for her apology

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said Tuesday that while he is “saddened to learn” about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) experience of sexual assault, he still believes she should issue an apology for remarks in which she blamed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

Cruz had reached out to the congresswoman on Twitter last week, indicating they might find a rare area of agreement in investigating the Reddit-fueled Wall Street rally of GameStop and other stocks. She pointedly rejected his offer, indicating that she faulted him and other Republicans for their efforts to undermine the results of the 2020 election and drawing a line from them to the Capitol breach.

“I am happy to work with Republicans on this issue where there’s common ground, but you almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago so you can sit this one out,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Happy to work w/ almost any other GOP that aren’t trying to get me killed. In the meantime if you want to help, you can resign.”

Later that day, Roy, who previously served as Cruz’s chief of staff, sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). 

“It has come to my attention,” he wrote, that Ocasio-Cortez “accused Senator Ted Cruz, in essence, of attempted murder.” 

“If Representative Ocasio-Cortez does not apologize immediately, we will be forced to find alternative means to condemn this regrettable statement,” Roy added in the letter

On Monday, Ocasio-Cortez spoke in an Instagram livestream detailing her experience of the insurrection that the fear she went through was compounded by the trauma of being a sexual assault survivor. 

“These are the tactics that abusers use,” she added. “The folks who are saying, ‘We should move on,’ ‘We shouldn’t have accountability,’ etc., are saying, ‘Can you just forget about this so we can do it again?’ ” 

Roy wrote in a Tuesday in a statement shared with The Hill that he, “was saddened to learn about the trauma that my colleague, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, described in recent days regarding sexual assault.” 

“Nobody should go through that, and I hope that she has received justice and experiences peace in the matter,” Roy added. 

However, he added, “I will not be swayed from my beliefs about right and wrong — regarding this or anything else. Her comparison of my defense of colleagues to her circumstances were again inappropriate, but I am not going to participate in discussing her personal experiences as a political matter.”

He went on to say that Ocasio-Cortez’s experience “does not change the fact that her allegation against Sen. Cruz was completely unacceptable for a Member of Congress to make against another member for engaging in free speech and debate about what our Constitution says about electors. Nor does it change my position that she should apologize for and retract those remarks.”

“Members of this body have a duty to work to mend the tattered fabric of our Republic, stop this heightened rhetoric, stop the social media sniping, and move forward to actually do the work the American people sent us here to do,” he added.

Cruz had been one of the most vocal supporters of challenging certain states’ 2020 electors over unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud. These allegations, advanced by former President Trump and his supporters, were repeatedly heard among the perpetrators of the Jan. 6 mob attack, which left five people dead.

Tags 2020 election Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez capitol building Capitol mob Capitol riot Chip Roy Donald Trump GameStop Instagram Nancy Pelosi sexual assault survivors Ted Cruz Texas Trump election claims Twitter

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