In discussing this week's photographs of Kellyanne Conway with her feet up on an Oval Office couch, one Democratic congressman crudely linked the now-viral images to former president Bill Clinton's 1995 affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Lawmakers gathered at the Washington Press Club Foundation's annual congressional dinner on Wednesday -- a fundraising event for journalism scholarships that is usually an easy going gathering of Capitol Hill elite. When the topic of Conway's kneeling on an Oval Office couch during a White House meeting came up, Democratic Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana attempted to joke about the subject -- saying President Trump's senior adviser "really looked familiar in that position."
"You even mentioned Kellyanne and the picture on the sofa," Richmond said. "But I really just want to know what was going on there, because, I won't tell anybody. And you can just explain to me that — that circumstance, because she really looked kind of familiar there in that position there. But don't answer. And I don't want you to refer back to the '90s."
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Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina first brought up the images of the former Trump campaign manager, saying, "Has anyone seen the controversy around Kellyanne Conway and the couch in the oval office? Come on people. You remember the '90s. That couch has had a whole lot of worse things. Come on now."
C-SPAN reported that the event's audience laughed at Scott's joke, but did not respond similarly to Richmond's response. As Washington Post's Amber Phillips writes, the audience perhaps felt Richmond's joke "leapt over that fine line in comedy between guffaw and offensive."
Richmond on Thursday denied that his joke implied a sexual connotation, saying, "Where I grew up saying that someone is looking or acting 'familiar' simply means that they are behaving too comfortably."
CNN's Jake Tapper wasn't buying it.
Conway spoke out Wednesday on backlash she faced after the photos went viral, calling the response "vicious" and "venomous."
"I was being asked to take a picture in a crowded room with the press behind us, and I was asked to take a certain angle and was doing exactly that," Conway told Dobbs in the interview. "I certainly meant no disrespect. I didn't mean to have my feet on the couch."
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