“You said that you could ‘confirm’ a Member of Congress gave Capitol tours to ‘insurrectionists’ and implied I was that Member of Congress,” Boebert wrote in a letter to Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), referencing an interview he gave MSNBC earlier this week. “Your comments are extremely offensive, shameful and dangerous.”
Maloney, though, quickly noted that he did not name the member of Congress who allegedly led rioters on a tour last week.
“Um, I’ve never said your name in public, @RepBoebert. Never. Not once,” Maloney said in a tweet late Thursday night. “(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.”
The terse exchange was the latest evidence of the mounting tension in the House, where some Democrats have said in the wake of the Capitol attacks that they fear violence at the hands of their Republican colleagues or their supporters.
The most specific claim of GOP links to the rioters came from Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), who said in a Facebook Live broadcast Tuesday that she saw another member of the House giving a “reconnaissance” tour of the Capitol to groups one day before the Jan. 6 attempted insurrection that left one police officer and four rioters dead.
Maloney echoed those claims on Wednesday, accusing an unnamed GOP lawmaker of leading a band of protesters on a Capitol tour on Jan. 5.
“It’s a sad reality that we find ourselves at a place where the enemy is within and we cannot trust our own colleagues,” he told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace.
“Some of our new colleagues, the same ones, of course, who believe in conspiracy theories and who want to carry guns into the House Chamber, who today — today — have been yelling at Capitol Police,” Maloney said on MSNBC, “shoving Capitol Police — who a week ago right now were risking their lives to save ours. This conduct is beyond the pale and extends to some of this interaction with the very people who attacked the Capitol.”
Boebert, in her letter, said Maloney’s interview led many to believe he was referring to her. The freshman House member does share some similarities with the unnamed lawmaker Maloney described. As a candidate, she vowed to carry her Glock to the Capitol. Her embrace of the QAnon conspiracy theory drew criticism during her run for office. And she refused to let Capitol Police search her bag after setting off metal detectors at the Capitol on Tuesday.
But several other Republicans also opposed the new security measures imposed on members of Congress following last week’s violence, and others have also claimed to carry firearms inside the Capitol building.
Misinformation claiming, without evidence, that the Colorado Republican led rioters on a tour has also circulated on social media in recent days. Facebook users spread one photograph with a caption that claimed it showed Boebert standing on the Capitol steps with a number of people who were allegedly seen in the pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6.
The photograph is real, but it was actually taken in Colorado in December 2019 — not last week in D.C., PolitiFact reported. In her letter, Boebert referenced that image and said she did not know the people in the photo.
“I did not conspire with criminals that attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6,” she wrote. “I have never given a tour of the U.S. Capitol to any outside group or ‘insurrectionists.’”
Following Maloney’s reply to the letter late Thursday night, noting that he never named her in his interview, Boebert offered another tense response.