Bowman defends fire alarm scandal by repeating talking point about being ‘in a rush’ to vote

New York Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman spoke with reporters on Monday about the controversy surrounding his pulling of a fire alarm in Congress amid potential government shutdown chaos and reiterated his claim that his action was a simple mistake.

“You know, I don’t know why this has gotten so much attention,” Bowman told reporters outside his office on Monday. “I was literally just in a rush to go vote, man.”

When asked if he fears any repercussions from his actions Bowman said, “Listen, I take responsibility for what I did, you know, but like I said, I was in a rush to go vote. And, you know, the investigation will sort everything else out.”

Bowman said he has been in touch with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., since “day one” when asked about Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s comparison between Jan. 6 efforts to interfere with government proceedings and his situation, calling the comparison “preposterous.”

REP. BOWMAN SHOCKS MEDIA, CONSERVATIVES WITH ‘GARBAGE’ STATEMENT AFTER PULLING FIRE ALARM

Rep. Jamaal Bowman

Rep. Jamaal Bowman speaks on Capitol Hill, April 27, 2023. (Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Bowman, a member of the group of House progressives known as “The Squad,” is being investigated by Capitol Police after pulling a fire alarm Saturday morning in one of the House of Representatives’ three office buildings amid the chaos of lawmakers scrambling to avert a government shutdown.

Bowman has claimed he made a mistake while trying to open a locked door as Republicans have accused him of trying to delay an official proceeding. His press secretary sent out a memo of talking points Monday to all House Democratic offices requesting their help in defending him.

Additionally, some Republicans are calling for Bowman to be expelled from the House over the incident.

PANEL MOCKS REP. BOWMAN’S REASON FOR PULLING FIRE ALARM: ‘EITHER WE HAVE A VERY DUMB CONGRESSMAN OR…’

Bowman pulling fire alarm

Bowman appeared to pull the alarm on Saturday as Republicans began voting on the stopgap bill to avert a government shutdown. (U.S. Capitol Police)

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., said on “FOX & Friends” that she will unveil a resolution to expel Bowman as a result.

“This is the United States Congress. It’s not a New York City public high school,” Malliotakis told host Ainsley Earhardt Monday. 

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Jamaal Bowman

Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm in a congressional office building on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty)

“And of all people, Jamaal Bowman knows the old fire alarm trick because he was a high school principal. And quite frankly, when he was the high school principal, there were serious ramifications if a student were to do that… including expulsion.”

Supporters of Bowman, including fellow Squad member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., defended him from expulsion calls.

“But they’re filing a motion to expel a member who in a moment of panic was trying to escape a vestibule,” she said of Bowman in a Sunday interview. “Give me a break.” 

“[Bowman] apologized,” Ocasio-Cortez continued, referencing her colleague’s statement. “And [Republicans] are protecting someone who has not only committed wire fraud, not only defrauded veterans, not only lied to congressional investigators, but is openly gloating about it, is absolutely humiliating to the Republican caucus.” 

Fox News Digital’s Elizabeth Elkind and Chad Pergram contributed to this report

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