[Fox News] GOP lawmaker rips ‘bad press’ after reports say he cursed out teenage Senate pages

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Freshman Rep. Derrick Van Orden, R-Wis., tore into the media on Friday for “threatening [him] with bad press” after reports that he called a group of student employees from the U.S. Senate “jacka–es” and “little sh–s” for laying on the floor of the Capitol rotunda.

“The Capitol Rotunda served as a field hospital where 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 service men and women have made for this country and should never be treated like a frat house common room,” Van Orden said in a statement given to Fox News Digital.

“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 to stand up for what’s right, then so be it.”

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Van Orden was reportedly giving a late night tour to visitors when the group came across Senate pages lying on the floor of the rotunda and taking pictures during their last week of the program, according to Punchbowl News.

“Wake the f— up you little sh–s,” he said according to a readout of the encounter obtained by The Hill. “What the f— are you all doing? Get the f— out of here. You are defiling the space.”

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“You jackasses, get out,” Van Orden, a military veteran, also reportedly said.

Senate pages are high school juniors, 16- and 17-year-olds who come from across the country to participate in an education and work program for Congress’ upper chamber.

Van Orden later disputed a report that he and his staff had been having a party before the alleged incident. “How do you say you have never been to Wisconsin without saying you have never been to Wisconsin? Those were constituents, you must be a flat-lander,” he tweeted.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., criticized Van Orden for the alleged incident late on Thursday night.

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“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,” Schumer 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 McConnell and myself.”

McConnell said a short while later, “I want to associate myself with the remarks of the majority leader. Everybody on this side of the aisle feels exactly the same way.”

Van Orden’s office did not specifically reply to the senators’ comments after an inquiry by Fox News Digital, but the conservative congressman’s allies laid into Schumer on Twitter.

“Chuck Schumer is a lifelong political hack who never resists an opportunity to insert himself in front of a camera. When will Schumer hold his own party to the same standard?” said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Jack Pandol.

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