Rep. Derrick Van Orden has moved on from cussing out teenagers to cussing out White House staff providing Congress with national security briefings.
Van Orden reportedly interrupted a congressional briefing by White House officials on the unfolding conflict between Israel and Hamas, cursing at the presenters, calling them “pathetic,” and yelling “fuck you” at Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), according to Politico. Phillips, a Jewish Democrat, had reportedly interjected into Van Orden’s verbal tirade with an exclamation of “shame on you.”
“He was rude and attacked the presenters,” Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) told Politico. “I thought they had very substantive things to say. But he just had this blanket attack saying that ‘this is the worst information I’ve ever had’ … basically attacking them for being incompetent.”
Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) reportedly apologized to the presenters for Van Orden’s behavior. Van Orden’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Rolling Stone.
It’s not the first time the Wisconsin Republican has displayed an explosive temper.
Van Orden was criticized in July by both Republicans and Democrats after he publicly berated a group of Senate pages. One of them had briefly laid down on the floor of the Capitol Rotunda to take a picture of the building’s historic dome.
“Wake the fuck up you little shits,” Van Orden reportedly screamed at the group of teenagers. “Get the fuck out of here. You are defiling the space.” The representative allegedly called the pages “jackasses” and “lazy shits.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the following day on the Senate floor that he was “shocked when I heard about it and I am further shocked at his refusal to apologize to these young people.” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said “everybody on this side of the aisle feels exactly the same way.”
Van Orden also reportedly threatened a 17-year-old library employee over a book display featuring LGBTQ-related titles while he was campaigning for office in 2021. The employee, Kerrigan Trautsch, described Van Orden as being “loud, he was aggressive, he had his finger jabbing into (the book) constantly,” and called the incident “very uncomfortable,” and “threatening.” Van Orden never apologized for this incident, either.
His reputation for having one of the shortest fuses in Congress was once again reaffirmed on Wednesday.