U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert rebuked a Democratic colleague for making "false and baseless conspiracy claims," which she said suggested she gave Capitol tours to "insurrectionists" and have led to death threats, but U.S. Rep. Sean Maloney responded that he was talking about another House Republican.
In a press release and a formal letter demanding a correction from Maloney, the Rifle Republican said the "extremely offensive, shameful and dangerous" comments made on national television by the New York congressman "implied" that Boebert was the member of Congress who had been showing people around the day before a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to stop certification of Joe Biden's election victory.
"There was not an ounce of truth to anything he claimed about me," she said. "His allegations are an embarrassment to the House of Representatives and he should correct his false assertions on the record as soon as possible."
U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, a New Jersey Democrat, joined by dozens of other House Democrats, earlier this week called for an investigation into whether House Republicans had assisted rioters, including by giving them "reconnaissance" tours of the Capitol on Jan. 5. Maloney discussed that accusation and other question about Capitol security on Wednesday in an interview on MSNBC.
Boebert, who has declared she intends to carry a firearm at the Capitol and faced criticism for tweeting about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's location during the riot, said the only Capitol tours she had given were to her young children, husband, mom and an aunt and uncle. Only her mother, she added, was in the Capitol complex on Jan. 6, and she was locked down with the lawmaker's staff.
Boebert also called attention to a photograph circulated widely online in recent days that shows Boebert standing with a large group of gun-rights advocates in front of the Colorado Capitol in Denver on Dec. 7, 2019, the day she declared her campaign for Congress. Although myth-busting site Snopes.com debunks the mischaracterization, nearly every description of the photo on Twitter and other social media networks this week falsely claimed the photo depicted Boebert posing with people she'd shown around the U.S. Capitol on Jan 5.
"Your failure to fact check any of these lies or even talk to me before doing an interview on a national television network has resulted in my office receiving numerous death threats and hundreds of vile phone calls and emails," Boebert wrote.
Maloney responded late Thursday on Twitter that it was Boebert who had her facts wrong.
"Um, I’ve never said your name in public, @RepBoebert," he tweeted. "Never. Not once. (If you’re going to be a gun nut, you probably shouldn’t go off half cocked.) I’ll tweet the transcript so you can see...but that might be like 'a fact', so might not help you."
According to the transcript he provided, Maloney said he'd heard about the alleged tour from a colleague and mentioned some of his "new colleagues, the same ones, of course, who believe in conspiracy theories and who want to carry guns into the house chamber, and today — today — have been yelling at Capitol Police."
Added Maloney: "And it’s a sad reality that we find ourselves at a place where the enemy is within and we cannot trust our own colleagues."
Boebert, who took office on Jan. 3, has been haunted since last summer by laudatory remarks she made about the QAnon conspiracy before maintaining that she was "not a follower." Earlier this week, she reportedly found herself in a "stand-off" with Capitol Police after setting off a metal detector on the way onto the House floor.
Numerous House Republicans, however, including some newcomers, have espoused theories that might be considered conspiratorial, and some have also complained about or disregarded the metal detectors.
Boebert, for her part, offered Maloney "[a] thousand apologies" and said she was pleased he made clear he wasn't talking about her.
"Please clarify that with the people making death threats and also MSNBC so they can set the record straight," she added.