Rep. Eric Swalwell slams Marjorie Taylor Greene's spokesman during mask confrontation: 'You don't tell me what to f---ing do'

·2 min read
marjorie taylor greene
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene at the Capitol on Thursday. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
  • "You don't tell me what to f---ing do," Eric Swalwell told Marjorie Taylor Greene's spokesman on Friday.

  • Greene's staffer had told Swalwell to take off his mask at the Capitol.

  • The CDC said on Thursday that fully vaccinated people didn't need to wear masks in most settings.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell on Friday scolded Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's spokesman for telling him to remove his mask.

The altercation, first reported by The Hill, involved Greene's spokesman, Nick Dyer, telling the California congressman that President Joe Biden "says you can take off your mask."

Swalwell said Dyer shouted at him for wearing a mask as he stepped off the House floor. Swalwell confronted Dyer, saying, "You don't tell me what to f---ing do!"

"No one should be bullied for wearing a mask. So I told the bully what I thought of his order," Swalwell tweeted. "Predictably, he went speechless. I regret I wasn't more explicit."

Greene said on Twitter that Swalwell "aggressively approached my staffer, got inches from his face, and verbally assaulted him."

"He totally lost control in front of me and Capitol Police," she added.

The dust-up came one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks indoors or outdoors at gatherings of any size, except in healthcare settings, on public transportation, at homeless shelters, and at airports. Private companies may still enforce mask mandates as they see fit.

The updated guidelines on Thursday prompted several vaccinated lawmakers at the Capitol to rip off their face coverings in celebration. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walked out of the chamber maskless, saying, "Free at last."

The Senate does not have a mask mandate for its members, but the House requires lawmakers to wear a mask on the floor or face fines of up to $2,500. The penalties were established in response to the Capitol insurrection on January 6, when several lawmakers sheltered in place together but many were maskless. A handful of lawmakers later tested positive for the coronavirus.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the House rule would stay in place despite the CDC's guidance. She said that not all lawmakers had been vaccinated yet.

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