Congressman Apologizes After Grabbing Staffer

Image: Rep. Don Young
U.S. Rep. Don Young addresses a Choose Respect rally in front of the state Capitol on Thursday, March 28, 2013, in Juneau, Alaska. Also pictured, from far left, are Saralynn Tabachnick, executive director of AWARE Inc., Sen. Anna Fairclough, Sen. Peter Micciche, Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan, Sen. Johnny Ellis, directly behind Young, and Rep. Bob Herron. Young, after the rally, spoke with reporters, and said he was not concerned about an ethics investigation surrounding him. Becky Bohrer / AP

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Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, apologized Thursday after an NBC News producer captured video of him forcefully grabbing a staffer’s arm outside an ongoing Republican conference meeting in the Capitol.

Staffer David Smentek tried to direct Young to use a side door because he was late and the meeting had already begun. But the 81-year-old Young grabbed Smentek’s arm and twisted it before letting go and entering through the front door.

“While returning to the GOP conference meeting to discuss the ongoing situation on our southern border, I was caught off guard by an unidentified individual who was physically blocking me from re-entering the room,” Young said in a statement. “Regardless, my reaction was wrong and I should have never placed my hands on the young man."

It is regular practice for members to use the side entrance if they are late to meetings.