- The Washington Times - Friday, May 14, 2021

The House is becoming a free-for-all between Democrats and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene — and now her staff.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, California Democrat, wrote on Twitter that he got into a verbal bout with one of the Republican congresswoman’s staff Friday.

“I had a mask on as I stepped off the Floor,” he wrote.

“An aide with @mtgreenee yelled at me to take my mask off. No one should be bullied for wearing a mask. So I told the bully what I thought of his order. Predictably, he went speechless. I regret I wasn’t more explicit.”

The aide, Nick Dyer, later told The Washington Times that he was joking but that Mr. Swalwell unexpectedly verbally assaulted and physically intimidated him.

Mr. Dyer said they were on the stairs outside the Capitol when things got testy.

SEE ALSO: Feud between Ocasio-Cortez, Marjorie Taylor Greene escalates

“I cordially and jovially said, ‘Congressman, Biden said you can take off your mask,’ as we walked by. I did not yell. I did not tell him to take his mask off,” Mr. Dwyer said.

“He then chased me inside, aggressively leaned into me, got inches from my face.” Mr. Dwyer said.

Mr. Swalwell told him not to tell him what to do, accentuating his point with an expletive, according to Mr. Dwyer’s version of events.

“It was actual verbal assault with an attempt at physical intimidation,” he said.

Within a couple of hours, Mr. Swalwell was trying to raise money from the incident.

“There are simply too many far-right members of Congress who refuse to get vaccinated and I have two young children who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated themselves. I will do absolutely everything I can to keep them healthy and safe,” Mr. Swallwell wrote in an email through the Democratic fundraising site, ActBlue.

SEE ALSO: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez vs. Marjorie Taylor Greene: Shouting, taunting, threat to call cops

He said Mr. Dyer yelled at him.

“After months of dealing with Marjorie Taylor Greene and her staff harassing people in Congress, I replied with exactly what was on my mind: ‘You don’t tell me what to f***ing do!’” he recounted for his supporters. “But while I have absolutely no regrets saying what I did, now Marjorie Taylor Greene is attacking me on Twitter and trying to cancel me for standing up to her staff bully.”

The exchange escalates the growing tension between Ms. Greene and Democrats.

For days, Ms. Greene and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have been throwing verbal jabs at each other in separate interviews. The far-left New York Democrat called her political polar opposite “deeply unwell” on Friday. Two days earlier, reporters saw Ms, Greene confront Ms. Ocasio-Cortez outside the House chamber and demand she debate the far-left Green New Deal proposal for an environmentalist makeover of the economy.

Ms. Greene also shouted that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a leader of the far-left group of young congresswomen known as “The Squad,” was failing to defend her “radical socialist” beliefs by declining to publicly debate her, according to the report.

“You don’t care about the American people,” Ms. Greene reportedly shouted. “Why do you support terrorists and Antifa?”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez did not stop to answer but threw her hands up in the air in exasperation and said something reporters could not hear.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said that Ms. Greene‘s actions were out of line and rose to the level that it should prompt an ethics investigation.

On Friday, Ms. Greene also criticized Ms. Ocasio-Cortez for refusing to debate her about the far-left environmental proposal.

• Kery Murakami can be reached at kmurakami@washingtontimes.com.

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