WASHINGTON (The Hill) – Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) reportedly asked a group of Jewish individuals who were visiting the Capitol if they were there to do “reconnaissance,” the visitors told BuzzFeed News.
Boebert is said to have seen the group of visitors on Thursday, looked at them “head to toe” and asked if they were visiting the Capitol to do “reconnaissance,” one person who saw the interaction told the outlet.
“You know, I’m not sure to be offended or not,” one of the rabbis in the group told Buzzfeed News. “I was very confused.”
“When I heard that, I actually turned to the person standing next to me and asked, ‘Did you just hear that?’” the rabbi said.
The group was there to meet with Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-N.Y.), who said reckless language like Boebert’s should not be used by lawmakers.
“The bottom line is that everyone, especially members of Congress, have to be very, very thoughtful in the language they use,” Suozzi said. “Because when you’re a member of Congress, you have an important role to play in society. You can’t be cavalier in the comments you make especially if they could be perceived as being antisemitic, or discriminatory.”
Boebert told the outlet the question was in jest and that she made it as a dig against Democrats who accused her of conducting large tours for people days before the Capitol riot happened.
“I saw a large group and made a joke. Sadly when Democrats see the same they demonize my family for a year straight,” she said, adding that some people “got” the joke in the group.
The person leading the group was an Orthodox Jewish individual with a traditional beard while others had yarmulkes on.
“I’m too short to see anyone’s yarmulkes,” Boebert said.
The rabbi told Buzzfeed News “people are very sensitive” after the Texas hostage situation at a synagogue.
The Hill has reached out to Boebert and Suozzi for comment.