Congressman Aaron Schock did some sloppy damage control on Wednesday, a day after the Washington Post revealed that the Illinois Republican has a Downton Abbey–inspired office. Instead of taking an interview in his snazzy new office, Schock apparently let himself be ambushed by ABC News’s Jeff Zeleny en route to a meeting, and defended the decor as they walked through the halls of Congress. Schock said his constituents won’t be upset because they know he’s not “an old crusty white guy.” Then he tried to prove it, saying, “You know, as Taylor Swift said, ‘haters are gonna hate.’” Haters are also gonna make him pay the bill. Following complaints that he violated House Ethics rules by accepting interior decorator Annie Brahler’s services as a gift, he said, “Once it’s done, I’m sure I’ll get an invoice, and I’ll pay her.”
Schock also had a response for those who found it ironic that he’d model his offices after a show on PBS’s Masterpiece after repeatedly voting against federal funding for public broadcasting. “I’ve never seen an episode of Downton Abbey,” Schock said. That’s obvious. If he were a Downton fan he would have gone to Europe with his aunt for the next nine months and pretended to know nothing about the red walls and pheasant feathers when he got back.