Don Young calls Boehner knife-point story 'friendly banter'
In a new profile piece,
, former House speaker John Boehner opened up to questions probing his life after retirement and past experiences while still in the realm of politics.
The piece, which details at length various obstacles Boehner faced during his tenure in the House, also touches on someone Alaskans are well-acquainted with by now: Rep. Don Young.
Drawing on events from years past, Boehner told Politico that Young once held a knife up to his neck following a heckling inside Congress. According to the report, Boehner had been ridiculing Young before the senior congressman "pinned Boehner against a wall inside the House chamber and held a 10-inch knife to his throat." Boehner's response to Young's weapon brandishing? "F--- you."
According to Young, not all of the background information about the incident made it into Politico's write-up. On his official Facebook page, Young noted that some of the context "wasn't used for [the Politico] piece." According to Young, while what Boehner told reporters was "mostly a true story," he also categorized it as "one of those tall tales from the House floor." Young said that Boehner loves the story, and that, like a tall tale, it can get embellished every time it gets told.
"Each and every time, that knife gets a little bigger and gets a little bit closer. One thing is true, the story always ends with an 'F' you,'" Young said.
In a statement, Young said, "This was some of the friendly back and forth banter John and I had over a few decades, but it was never anything serious. Had it been, I'm sure you would've heard about it long before now."
According to Young's spokesperson, this exchange was part of a long friendship between the two congressmen, and Boehner served as Young's best man at his wedding.
This incident wouldn't be the first in which Young displayed some unorthodox or controversial behavior, nor the first in which Boehner used the "'F' word" on a colleague in a public space.
Young has made headlines with his reportedly gruff demeanor almost as regularly as Boehner himself, who previously hit Democratic leader Harry Reid with "go f--- yourself" in the White House.
Just last month, Young was under fire for
in response to statements delivered on the floor by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, (D-WA). He said that Jayapal "doesn't know a damn thing what she's talking about" and called her "young lady" during a floor debate over an amendment to the 2018 government spending package on wildlife and parks programs in Alaska.
Young later apologized to Jayapal, stating, "To the lady, I do apologize. I get very defensive about my state. I recognize it was out of order, so I hope you accept my apology."
Jayapal did accept Young's apology, however later tweeted in response to the incident, "A message to women of color out there: stand strong. Refuse to be patronized or minimized. Let the small guys out there be intimated by you."
As for the knife incident, no apology was offered by Young or his representatives this time.