Lauren Boebert makes bizarre comment to group of Jewish visitors at U.S. Capitol

“You know, I’m not sure to be offended or not,” one rabbi present for the incident said

By Brett Bachman

Published January 20, 2022 4:43PM (EST)

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) wears a 'Make America Great Again' hat as she leaves the U.S. Capitol (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) wears a 'Make America Great Again' hat as she leaves the U.S. Capitol (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., made a series of bizarre remarks to a group of Jewish visitors at the U.S. Capitol Thursday morning, BuzzFeed reported, asking them if they were doing "reconnaissance" while stopping to look them over "from head to toe."

"You know, I'm not sure to be offended or not," one rabbi present for the incident told the outlet, adding that he was "very confused."

The people in question were meeting with Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the Iran Hostage Crisis, and wearing yarmulkes, a traditional Jewish headwear. The person coordinating the visit was also Orthodox and wears a traditional beard, according to BuzzFeed. 

Boebert claimed that she was making a joking reference to her own mysterious Capitol visit, which came just three weeks before the attempted Jan. 6 insurrection. Salon exclusively reported at the time that Boebert hosted several guests on a Dec. 12, 2020 tour of the complex — despite the fact that she was not yet a member of Congress, and the building was closed to visitors at the time.

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In the months since Jan. 6, Boebert has repeatedly denied rumors that she hosted "reconnaissance tours" to would-be rioters, which were fueled by accusations from Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and others.

As for Thursday's events, she said: "I saw a large group and made a joke."

"Sadly when Democrats see the same they demonize my family for a year straight," she added. "I'm too short to see anyone's yarmulkes."

Suozzi, for his part, denounced the comments — saying that Congresspeople can't be "cavalier" in their public comments.

"The bottom line is that everyone, especially members of Congress, have to be very, very thoughtful in the language they use," Souzzi said in a statement. "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."

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Brett Bachman

Brett Bachman is the Nights/Weekend Editor at Salon.

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Brief Capitol Capitol Riot Colorado January 6 Lauren Boebert Tom Suozzi Yarmulkes