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US House Rep. Van Orden curses out high-school aged pages for taking pictures of Rotunda, says they treated US Capitol like “frat house”



FILE - Derrick Van Orden at the Donald Trump rally in West Salem, Wis., in October of 2020.

Republican US House Rep. Derrick Van Orden of Wisconsin’s 3rd District is not apologizing for cursing out some high school-aged pages for taking pictures of the US Capitol Rotunda ceiling during a late-night tour.

Van Orden

The 53-year-old Van Orden, a former Navy Seal, called the pages “lazy sh***” and told them to “get the f*** up,” as they were lying on their backs photographing the dome after midnight, during their final week at work, according to PunchBowl News (this link is behind a paywall).

One of the pages provided an account of what happened, The Hill reported:

“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‑‑‑],” Van Orden said, according to the account provided by the page.

“Who the f‑‑‑ are you?” Van Orden asked, to which one person said they were Senate pages. “I don’t give a f‑‑‑ who you are, get out.”

“You jackasses, get out,” he added.

A statement sent to media, from Van Orden’s office, doesn’t deny he cursed out the high-school aged pages, but instead justified the actions and called what they were doing disrespectful, given the building’s history, describing it as a field hospital, where soldiers died during 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 be treated like a frat house common room,” the statement said. “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.”

Van Orden also commented on the photo of his office, that shows various alcoholic items, that says he had his staff were apparently partying before the incident.

Van Orden replied, “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.”

Democratic candidate Rebecca Cooke, who announced last week she’s running for Van Orden’s seat, put out a statement, calling out her opponent.

“We should be encouraging youth engagement in our democratic process, not using vulgar language towards them,” Cooke said. “Derrick Van Orden is an embarrassment who clearly lacks the temperament to represent Wisconsin and our values.

“While attempting to clean up his latest mess, he had the nerve to compare students commemorating their summer of service to a frat house. Where was his concern for history on January 6th when he and his MAGA buddies besieged the Capitol, resulting in 140+ injuries to police officers and deaths? Van Orden’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. The serial harasser is truly the last person to lecture on decorum and belongs nowhere near the halls of Congress.”

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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