If you keep up with news about Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Illinois, you know that he’s a world traveler, has one of the best Instagram accounts in Congress, and is on a list of top 10 political bachelors.
He’s also been labeled as “America’s fittest Congressman.”
But did you know his office in the Rayburn House Office Building has a “Downton Abbey” theme?
The Washington Post has the photos to prove it.
While the Republican and his staff wouldn’t talk about it, we can all thank Schock’s interior decorator, Annie Brahler, for spilling the beans and showing Washington Post reporter Ben Terris around. Brahler’s company, Euro Trash, is based out of Illinois.
She guided me to Schock’s private office, revealing another dramatic red room. This one with a drippy crystal chandelier, a table propped up by two eagles, a bust of Abraham Lincoln and massive arrangements of pheasant feathers.
When Schock’s staff found out Terris was taking photos of the “Downton Abbey” setup, communications director Benjamin Cole said Terris “created a bit of a crisis in the office.”
You’ve got a member [of Congress] willing to talk to you about other things, Cole said on the phone. Why sour it by rushing to write some gossipy piece?
Cole said Schock hasn’t even seen the office yet and “it wouldn’t be fair for you to write about his office until he has the chance to see it.”
According to Schock’s office,Brahler donated her services for free, while Schock paid for the items.Brahler doesn’t understand what all the fuss was about in talking about her work, describing the staff as “prickly.”
He’s happy to talk to you, just not about the office, Cole said, sounding very tired of the ordeal. I’m really sorry and want you to know this is not fun for me.
Even with the latest revelation, don’t go assuming the man who accepted a challenge from cadets at West Point to complete the Combat Water Survival Lab spends all of his spare time watching “Downton Abbey.”
“I don’t even know if he watches it,” Cole said.
On Tuesday, a watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate.
Lawmakers can not accept gifts from lobbyists, and gifts from other sources must be less than $50, according to the House Ethics Committee.
“The rules clearly require him to pay for those renovations himself,” said Anne Weismann, CREW’s Interim Executive Director, in the complaint.