Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., is facing heavy criticism for making what some perceived as sexually inappropriate jokes about Kellyanne Conway.
During the Washington Press Club Foundation’s annual congressional dinner, Richmond commented about a recent photo showing Conway, who serves as counselor to President Donald Trump, kneeling on a couch in the Oval Office.
Earlier in the evening, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., joked that the couch had seen more sordid action during the 1990s, alluding to President Bill Clinton’s sexual impropriety in the Oval Office.
“I really just want to know what was going on there, because, you know, I won’t tell anybody,” Richmond remarked. “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 1990s.”
Richmond, who is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, for his part said in a statement that his remarks weren’t sexual.
“Where I grew up saying that someone is looking or acting ‘familiar’ simply means that they are behaving too comfortably,” the Washington Post reported he said in a statement.
But UltraViolet, a liberal women’s group, criticized Richmond’s comments — despite the fact the group acknowledged it disagrees with “just about everything” Conway does or says.
“No woman deserves to be treated the way Congressman Richmond treated Conway,” a statement from UltraViolet said. “With so many legitimate things to criticize Conway on, stooping to such a sexist low is entirely unnecessary.”
Republican women in Louisiana also criticized Richmond in a statement that said his comments were especially inappropriate at the beginning of women’s history month.
Among them were Louisiana Republican vice chairwoman Beryl Amedee, National Committeewoman Lenar Whitney and Gena Gore, president of the Louisiana Federation of Republican Women.
“Using inappropriate sexual innuendos to demean women is sexism at its worse,” their statement read. “Given that March is Women’s History Month, Congressman Richmond’s remarks about the first woman to successfully manage a US presidential campaign are especially disgusting.”