White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called Sen. Elizabeth Warren an “impolite arrogant woman” in an email to his top aide last year, Buzzfeed News reported Thursday, and the phrase has already been put on T-shirts.
The email exchange, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, followed a phone call Kelly had with Warren regarding President Donald Trump’s travel ban targeting majority Muslim nations.
“Absolutely most insulting conversation I have ever had with anyone,” Kelly wrote to his aide in February 2017. “What an impolite arrogant woman. She immediately began insulting our people accusing them of not following the court order, insulting and abusive behavior towards those covered by the pause, blah blah blah.”
Following Buzzfeed’s report of the exchange, Warren responded to the insult via a statement on her website. In the statement, Warren explains that she and her staff had repeatedly trying to reach Kelly before the phone call, but Kelly denied her team ever reached out.
During the call, Warren insisted on receiving a direct phone line for future contact and vouched for the implementation of a court order halting Trump’s travel ban. According to Warren, individuals trying to reach Boston were stranded abroad, despite the order.
“There’s nothing impolite about people’s right to speak out and hold their government accountable. And sometimes, people are right to be angry,” said Warren in her response.
Supporters of Warren and women’s right have already claimed “impolite arrogant woman” as a rallying cry, similar to the “nasty woman” insult directed at Hillary Clinton, and “nevertheless, she persisted”—a phrase once again referring to Warren and her opposition to those who tried to silence her.