NEW YORK (VINnews) — NY Rep. Eliot Engel, the 16-term Democratic congressman got himself into a mess on Tuesday when he openly stated that he doesn’t care about the riots and looting taking place in the city.
Only, we weren’t supposed to hear it.
Engel’s remarks were caught on a hot mic at a press conference with local leaders and elected officials following a night of heavy protests in the Bronx.
Engel had asked Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. if he could have a turn at the microphone to say a few words. Diaz Jr. replied that there were too many people already on the list. It was then that Engel mumbled something through his face mask.
“What was that?” Diaz Jr. asked.
“If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” Engel repeated.
Diaz responds, “Don’t do that to me.”
— Emily Ngo (@emilyngo) June 2, 2020
Engel released a statement defending his words following the blunder, saying that since he is running for reelection, he felt he needed to clarify his stance to the voters.
“Of course I care deeply about what’s happening in this country, that’s what I wanted to convey,” sadid Engel. “I love the Bronx, grew up in the Bronx and lived here all my life,” he continued.
“I would not have tried to impose on the Borough President if I didn’t think it was important,” he added.
Engel recently was criticized for not returning to his Bronx district while the COVID-19 pandemic raged on.
It was also recently reported that Engel had failed to repay a controversial $125,000 “mortgage loan” from one of his top campaign donors.