During Thursday's joint House Judiciary and Oversight committee hearing, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) told embroiled FBI agent Peter Strzok, "If I could give you a Purple Heart, I would. You deserve one."
On Friday, Cohen said he regrets making the comment.
In a statement, the congressman said, "My intent was to speak metaphorically to make a broader point about attacks against the FBI and Special Counsel Mueller's investigation into a Russian attack on our country.
"I have nothing but the highest respect for members of the Armed Forces, especially those who have been awarded Purple Hearts, as well as the hard working men and women at the FBI. We are safe because of their service and sacrifice."
Speaking with CNN, Cohen took a jab at Fox News while explaining: "I said something at the hearings yesterday about Purple Hearts which another network that is named for a four-legged animal has been making a big deal about."
But he added, "I regret using the term 'Purple Heart.' I used it metaphorically, not literally. I never literally thought the Purple Heart should be given to agent Strzok. But I do believe that he was being attacked because the FBI and the Mueller investigation were under attack."
How did it go over?
It wasn't just Fox News that made "a big deal" of Cohen's comment to Strzok. Rep. Mark Meadows tweeted on Thursday, "The notion that Peter Strzok deserves a 'purple heart' is an insult to the honor, valor, and service of men and women who truly earned its recognition."
Posting the video of Cohen's comments to his feed, Herman Cain said on Twitter, "This speaks volumes about what #Democrats think of the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. In a day full of disgusting moments, this may have been the worst. Despicable."
This speaks volumes about what #Democrats think of the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. In a day full of disgusting moments, this may have been the worst. Despicable. https://t.co/1bKVTkXRO8
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) July 13, 2018