- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has debunked claims that she employs her boyfriend, Riley Roberts.
- Conservatives seized on records that show Roberts has a staff email address.
- But Ocasio-Cortez says there’s an innocent explanation: He just has access to her Google Calendar.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has dunked on conservative conspiracy theories that she is employing her boyfriend, Riley Roberts, as a member of her team.
Luke Thompson, vice president of the Republican analytics firm Applecart, tweeted on Friday a screenshot of what he claimed to be Roberts’ staff email address.
In the post, which has been retweeted more than 5,000 times, he said: "While you were having a nice Valentine’s Day, @AOC decided to put her boyfriend on staff – drawing a salary on the taxpayer’s dime. Nice to see her adapting to the swamp so quickly."
GOP strategist Andrew Surabian also tweeted a picture of a "staff directory" that included Roberts’ name, as the claims spread like wildfire through conservative commentators, who rushed to call out the New York congresswoman.
"Her jobs for everyone starts with her boyfriend. Pure socialism, government chooses the winners and losers," said Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser to the Trump 2020 campaign.
But Ocasio-Cortez said there was an innocent explanation.
In a reply to Thompson, she said Roberts has an email address so he can have access to her Google Calendar. "Congressional spouses get Gcal access all the time. Next time check your facts before you tweet nonsense," she said.
Ocasio-Cortez’s Chief of Staff Saikat Chakrabarti also jumped to her defense.
"He’s not paid. We have no volunteers in the office. He’s not doing any government work. He can see her calendar just like spouses/partners/family members in other congressional office. Check your damn facts," he tweeted.
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