FACT CHECK: Did House Republicans Bar Jamie Raskin From Wearing His Cap?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims House Republicans barred Democratic Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin from wearing his cap while undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

Verdict: False

House Republicans did not prevent Raskin from wearing his cap. A spokesperson for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy denied the claim.

Fact Check:

Raskin is currently undergoing chemotherapy for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cancer after being diagnosed in December, according to ABC News. The Maryland lawmaker also suggests former president Donald Trump if facing “almost inevitable” indictments, Newsweek reported.

The Facebook image claims that House Republicans told Raskin to take off the cap. “Kevin McCarthy is trying to make him remove the head covering while he’s on the House floor because cruelty is always the point with these assholes. Yes, Republicans suck that much. Raskin said today that he won’t remove his cap, but he might make the Republicans remove their toupees,” the image’s text reads in part.

This claim, however, lacks context and is highly misleading. The claim originated from Punchbowl News managing editor Heather Caygle, who tweeted that Raskin “will push back on Republican efforts to make him take off the cap he’s been wearing as he undergoes chemotherapy.”

“And I will make them take off their toupees,” Raskin said, according to Caygle’s tweet. Raskin told Raw Story that he was kidding with the comment.

Jacob Wilson, Raskin’s communications director, told Check Your Fact via email that Raskin was “responding lightheartedly to a hypothetical question from a colleague at an off-the-record Democratic Caucus meeting.”

“He has received nothing but support and encouragement from all of his colleagues and leaders on both sides of the aisle. He is very grateful to them,” Wilson said. (RELATED: Did Matt Gaetz Reveal New Documents That Implicated Jerry Nadler?)

Caygle later posted a follow-up thread indicating that it was a hypothetical Raskin was responding to, not actual Republican efforts to make him take off his cap.

“Yes, Raskin did make those comments. Yes, lawmakers and aides in the room thought he was speaking seriously. No, Republicans have not communicated that to him. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused,” Caygle tweeted.

Mark Bednar, a spokesperson for McCarthy, told Check Your Fact via email that the claim is false.

This is not the first time false claims about McCarthy have circulated on social media. Check Your Fact previously debunked a photo allegedly showing the speaker presenting a poll on Twitter on whether he should step down.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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