Democratic congressman apologizes to Kellyanne Conway for crude joke

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Reporter
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Kellyanne Conway and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La. (Photos: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP, Zach Gibson/AP)
Kellyanne Conway and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La. (Photos: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP, Zach Gibson/AP)

Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., issued a statement of apology Sunday after facing outrage for a crude joke he made about top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway.

In the statement, Richmond said, “After a discussion with people I know and trust, I understand the way my remarks have been received by many. I have consistently been a champion for women and women’s issues, and because of that the last thing I would want to ever do is utter words that would hurt or demean them. I apologize to Kellyanne Conway and everyone who has found my comments to be offensive.”

Richmond had made the offending quip during his Wednesday address to the Washington Press Club Foundation’s congressional dinner, an annual event in which a number of representatives from both parties make lighthearted remarks. The joke was in reference to a viral photo of Conway kneeling on a sofa in the Oval Office, which set off some debate about the level of decorum the office requires.

Earlier during the dinner, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., waved off the Conway controversy by comparing it to President Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, remarking, “Has anyone seen the controversy around Kellyanne Conway and the couch in the Oval Office? Come on, people. You remember the ’90s. That couch has had a whole lot of worse things. Come on now.”

Following Scott at the microphone, Richmond played off his remarks, even addressing Scott directly as he spoke.

“You even mentioned Kellyanne and the picture on the sofa,” Richmond began. “But I really just want to know: What was going on there? Because, you know, I won’t tell anybody. And you can just explain to me that circumstance, because she really looked kind of familiar in that position there. Don’t answer — and I don’t want you to refer back to the ’90s.”

In a video of the remarks, Scott looks on, unsmiling, with raised eyebrows as Richmond speaks.

Thursday morning, Richmond issued a statement to the Washington Post attempting to tamp down the sexual implication of the joke: “Since some people have interpreted my joke to mean something it didn’t, I think it is important to clarify what I meant. Last night was a night of levity. Where I grew up saying that someone is looking or acting ‘familiar’ simply means that they are behaving too comfortably.”

“I decided to use that joke due to the large social media backlash over her inappropriate posture considering there were more than 60 HBCU Presidents in the room.”

Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee Ronna Romney McDaniel, invoking Women’s History Month, demanded Richmond apologize.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Conway addressed the comment on Twitter, including a tweet thanking Chelsea Clinton for her support.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting