Speaking at the Washington Press Club Foundation’s congressional dinner this week, Richmond said Conway, who was recently pictured sitting with her legs tucked under her in the Oval Office, looked “kind of familiar” in that position.
Social and traditional media reaction was swift and harsh, with many commentators decrying what they said was Richmond’s crude reference to Conway.
For his part, Richmond said the comments were made on a “night of levity” in reference to the level of comfort Conway was displaying by her extremely relaxed pose.
“Since some people have interpreted my joke to mean something that it didn’t, I think it is important to clarify what I meant,” Richmond said. “Last night was night of levity. Where I grew up, saying that someone is looking or acting ‘familiar’ simply means that they are behaving too comfortably.”
Furthermore, Richmond said he was trying to draw a sharp contrast between Conway’s repose and the dozens of other people in the Oval Office at the time.
“I decided to use that joke due to the large social media backlash over her inappropriate posture considering there were more than 60 HBCU Presidents in the room,” he said.
President Trump, who saw more than a little criticism lobbed his way during his contentious run for office due to what he termed as “locker room talk” and the proliferation of “PC culture,” was hosting the presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities as part of the White House’s commemoration of Black History Month.
Republican Party of Louisiana Vice-Chair Beryl Amedee issued a statement calling for a full apology.
“Yesterday, Congressman Cedric Richmond made a deeply offensive remark regarding Kellyanne Conway, and he owes her a sincere and prompt apology,” Amadee said. “Using inappropriate sexual innuendos to demean women is sexism at its worse. 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. We’d hope that Governor John Bel Edwards and LA Democrat Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson will join us in demanding Congressman Richmond apologize immediately.”