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Ted Cruz calls Democratic senator an 'ass' following Senate floor mask dispute

November 17, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) waves to the crowd at a campaign rally in Houston, Texas, U.S., October 22, 2018. ??REUTERS/Leah Millis ??

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Monday called Sen. Sherrod Brown "a complete ass" following a tense dispute over mask wearing on the Senate floor between the Ohio Democrat and Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan.

(CNN)Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Monday called Sen. Sherrod Brown "a complete ass" following a tense dispute over mask wearing on the Senate floor between the Ohio Democrat and Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan.

The dispute, captured in a video clip that has now gone viral, took place when Brown asked Sullivan to wear a mask while speaking as he presided over the Senate, a request that Sullivan refused to comply with.

Brown, who wore a mask as he spoke, said, "I'd start by asking the presiding officer to please wear a mask as he speaks. " Sullivan, who was not wearing a mask, responded tersely, "I don't wear a mask when I'm speaking, like most senators, I don't need your instruction. "

Cruz criticized Brown over the incident in a tweet on Monday, writing, "This is idiotic.

The Texas Republican went on to say that Sullivan was "over 50 feet away" from his fellow senator, adding "last I checked 50 feet is more than 6 feet. " However, Cruz's tweet was misleading, as Brown seemed to be referring to the staffers who were just a few feet away from Sullivan while he was maskless.

The office of Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa announced Tuesday morning that he was exposed to Covid-19 and will immediately quarantine as a result.

The Iowa Republican spoke on the Senate floor on Monday and was seen at the Capitol speaking to reporters Monday afternoon.

Brown tweeted after the incident Monday, "I asked my Republican colleagues to stop endangering all the Senate workers - and simply wear a mask when presiding over the Senate. "

In his comments directed at Sullivan on the Senate floor, the Ohio Democrat pointed out that there are "people below him," as he speaks.

A CNN review of hours of footage from September 29 through October 1 showed senators often crowding one another -- face-to-face and shoulder-to-shoulder -- and carrying on extended conversations in the chamber.

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