WASHINGTON, D.C. - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chastised Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for her "verbal assault" of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and said the Republican's "egregious" behavior may rise to the level of an ethics violation.
Two Washington Post reporters witnessed Greene, R-Ga., aggressively confront Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., outside the House chamber on Wednesday, and Pelosi said the incident was reported to her office. Pelosi called Greene's conduct a "verbal assault" and "abuse of our colleague."
"It's so beyond the pale of anything that is in keeping with bringing honor to the House, or not bringing dishonor to the House," Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday of Greene's conduct. "It's so beyond the pale that … it probably is a matter for the Ethics Committee."
The Washington Post reported that Greene called out to Ocasio-Cortez as they left the House chamber late Wednesday afternoon. When the progressive Democrat kept walking, Greene reportedly picked up her pace and began shouting at her about supporting Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Greene also brought up her desire to debate Ocasio-Cortez about her "radical socialist" beliefs, the paper said.
"You don’t care about the American people," Greene shouted, the Post reported. "Why do you support terrorists and Antifa?"
Ocasio-Cortez never stopped to talk, but at one point turned around to throw "her hands in the air in an exasperated motion," the paper reported. Her office then called on House leadership to take action to ensure members are safe, especially after Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., already moved her office away from Greene's citing "safety" concerns following a dustup in January. (Greene says the confrontation with Bush in a hallway was the result of Bush instigating it).
"We hope leadership and the Sergeant at Arms will take real steps to make Congress a safe, civil place for all Members and staff," Lauren Hitt, spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez, told Fox News.
Greene told Fox News she never screamed at Ocasio-Cortez. "That's a lie," she said.
In a series of tweets Thursday, Greene said Ocasio-Cortez is "afraid" of debating her about the Green New Deal and the New York Democrat should be the one investigated by the Ethics Committee.
Pelosi lamented that GOP leaders did not try to police their own members' conduct or set a "respectable behavior standard."
"This is beneath the dignity of a person serving in the Congress of the United States and is a cause for trauma, and fear among members, especially on the heels of an insurrection of which … [Republicans] yesterday denied ever happened," Pelosi said Thursday at her weekly Capitol news conference.
Pelosi was referring to some House Republicans trying to whitewash the events of the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol that left 140 police officers injured in the riot and five people dead, including Officer Brian Sicknick, who suffered a stroke after defending the Capitol.
At a House committee hearing Wednesday, Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., went so far as to suggest the presence of people in the Capitol on Jan. 6 resembled more of a "normal tourist visit" rather than an insurrection.
Without naming him directly, Pelosi said Thursday that such comments were "sick."
She said Greene's conduct is just the latest example of poor behavior.
"I could give you chapter and verse of many other things that they have done, that being the most recent and very egregious," Pelosi said. "It could be that this would rise to the level of an ethics [complaint]."
Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.