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GOP lawmaker brushes off report of ‘unsafe’ pullups: ‘I did five more reps … than Teddy Roosevelt’

Rep. Rich McCormick (R-Ga.) responded Wednesday to a report that he used a railing to do “unsafe” pullups while on a tour of the Capitol’s dome Tuesday by making a lighthearted remark about former President Teddy Roosevelt doing the same thing.

“The only thing I’ll say is, you know, pretty sure Teddy Roosevelt also did this, and I did five more reps than him,” McCormick, a former Marine pilot, said when asked to respond to the report.

“And I used to get paid to jump out of perfectly good aircraft,” he continued. “I didn’t do anything dangerous.”

McCormick’s remarks come after Politico reported that, while on tour of the Capitol’s dome, McCormick engaged in “unsafe actions” and did pullups on railings suspended hundreds of feet above ground.

Politico reviewed an email that reportedly said McCormick went beyond a sign that read, “no person permitted above this platform under any circumstances” and that he was reportedly recorded doing pullups. McCormick allegedly was photographed straddling the railing and pretending to fall or slide over, according to Politico, which cited the email.

The Hill has reached out to the House sergeant at arms for confirmation.

Asked Wednesday about reports that he was suspended hundreds of feed above ground, McCormick said, “That’s the story. That’s the story,” before adding that the story was “overblown.”

McCormick also told reporters that he has been in touch with House security. He wouldn’t say exactly how many pullup reps he did Tuesday but said, “Five more than Teddy Roosevelt.”

In an earlier response to the Politico report, McCormick’s communications director, Julie Singleton, said in an email, “There was a misunderstanding and we have apologized.”

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