One of congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson's interns snapped a group selfie of all the Democratic Capitol Hill Interns

By Lindsay Kimble
July 21, 2016 11:20 AM

Democratic Capitol Hill interns attempted to dispel the diversity controversy caused by House Speaker Paul Ryan’s group selfie last week, by sharing a new photo of their own.

In the image, snapped by Texas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s intern Audra Jackson Tuesday, hundreds of interns of a variety of ethnicities gathered on the U.S. Capitol building steps.

“My intern Audra Jackson led Democratic Interns in their own selfie 2day showing #DemInternDiversity #DemInternSelfie,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. Of other posed photos of the interns, she added, “The picture of the Democratic interns look a lot different than the #speakerselfie #DemInternSelfie #Diversity.”

The Democratic Capitol Hill Interns
Source: Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson/Instagram

The photo directly references Ryan’s “#SpeakerSelfie” with more than 100 Capitol Hill interns – which was called out on the Internet for featuring an overwhelmingly white group.

Johnson’s image is a little misleading, however: the Ryan photo does not feature only Republican interns, as the Congresswoman seems to assert.

Ryan took the selfie at an event for the 2016 Congressional Summer Intern Lecture Series – which is open to interns across both aisles, RJ Khalaf, an intern for Congressman André Carson told USA Today.

House Speaker Paul Ryan with Capitol Hill interns
Paul Ryan/Instagram

Khalaf said interns were randomly selected to attend the event though a lottery, and charged that the lack of diversity was not Ryan’s fault.

He told USA Today, “It’s a better representation of the fact that so many interns on the Hill are not people of color.”