February 2, 2023 10:02am
Updated: February 2, 2023 2:36pm
Social media influencers' online claims that Republicans told Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin that wearing a head scarf on the House floor as he undergoes chemotherapy violates House rules were dismissed Thursday by the Maryland congressman's office.
Raskin on Wednesday appeared on the floor wearing the scarf amid lymphoma treatment that frequently results in hair loss.
"House Republicans are making Jamie Raskin remove the cap he has been wearing as he undergoes cancer treatments. I find this disgusting. I stand with Jamie Raskin, do you?" tweeted a person identified as Brittney, a "Political Junkie and Commentator."
The post has been viewed over 1.4 million times and "liked" nearly 50,000 times.
"If there was ever any doubt about how scummy House Republicans are, they want Rep. Jamie Raskin to remove the cap he's been wearing while he undergoes chemo treatment for CANCER," tweeted Majid Padellan under the "BrooklynDad_Defiant!" account, which has over a million followers.
The misunderstanding seems to have started Tuesday after Punchbowl News managing editor Heather Caygle tweeted that Raskin received a standing ovation during a Democratic Caucus meeting after saying he will push back against Republican efforts to make him remove his cap, as House rules technically allow only religious head coverings.
"And I will make them take off their toupees," Raskin said in the meeting.
Raskin spokesperson Jacob Wilson on Thursday told The Associated Press that a fellow Democrat "lightheartedly" posed a hypothetical question to the congressman about "what he would do if Republicans made him take off his headwear on the House floor."
Caygle on Wednesday clarified her earlier tweet by posting that Democratic lawmakers and aides in the meeting thought Raskin "was speaking seriously."
The congressman later told her that "GOP colleagues have been nothing but supportive" and "There's been no official communication about" removing his hat, Caygle said.
Some liberal Twitter users clarified the story after expressing outrage.
"The story of Raskin being asked to remove his cap reported by Punchbowl News, appears to have been a joke that was misunderstood by the reporter. Along with others we erroneously repeated the story, which sadly would have seemed in character if true," tweeted Duty To Warn, which describes itself as an "association of mental health professionals warning NOW about TrumpISM."
Republicans have been publicly supportive of Raskin.
"We’re all rooting for you," House Oversight Chairman James Comer told Raskin at a committee meeting. "We know that you’re gonna win this battle."