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Rep. Keith Ellison denies abuse allegations

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is a DNC official and was the first Muslim elected to Congress, launched his campaign for attorney general of Minnesota. (Video: Reuters)

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) on Sunday denied allegations that he abused a woman with whom he had a romantic relationship.

Ellison, who is deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee and running for Minnesota attorney general in Tuesday’s primary, issued a statement denying claims that he dragged the woman, Karen Monahan, off a bed by her feet and berated her with profane language. The claims, which the woman’s son made and she confirmed, have not been corroborated.

The woman and her son allege that there is video of the incident. They did not respond to multiple requests Sunday from The Washington Post to provide the video.

“Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being,” Ellison said in the statement issued through his campaign. He was apparently referencing Monahan.

He added, “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.”

On Saturday, a person identifying himself as Austin Monahan wrote in a post on Facebook that he came across an almost two-minute video of the incident while using his mother’s computer.

On Sunday, a woman identifying herself as Karen Monahan wrote on Twitter: “What my son said is true.”

The allegations surfaced days before the primary in Minnesota, a contest Ellison entered earlier this summer. He faces four opponents in the Democratic race.

One of his opponents, state Rep. Debra Hilstrom, took to Twitter to call on Ellison to answer the allegations. She was tagged in Austin Monahan’s Facebook post.

Ellison is one of the most liberal members of the House. After the 2016 election, he sought the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. He lost to Tom Perez but was later appointed his deputy, as Democrats sought to unify their fractured party.

Elise Viebeck and David Weigel contributed to this report.

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