Rep. Lauren Boebert clashed with Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., on Thursday night after Maloney said in a TV interview that one of his colleagues in the House had seen a member of Congress giving a tour of the Capitol on Jan. 5, the day before the building was stormed by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Boebert, a Republican representing Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, responded to the interview, sending a letter to Maloney that accused him of implying she was the member who gave the tour. She went on to write that after Maloney’s interview, her office received a number of death threats.
“I did not conspire with the criminals that attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6,” Boebert wrote. “I have never given a tour of the U.S. Capitol to any outside group or ‘insurrectionists.’”
During the interview, Maloney did not name the member who was giving tours or the member who had seen the tour occurring.
However, Boebert’s response came amid accusations that she helped incite the violence at the Capitol through her support of Trump’s accusations of voter fraud and references to the American Revolution she made before objecting to the certification of electoral votes.
Maloney’s comments Thursday came after Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., said she had seen a member of Congress or a congressional staff member giving what she called a “reconnaissance” tour. Sherrill was not the member who Maloney said he had spoken to; several congressional Democrats have called for an investigation into the tours.
Neither Sherrill nor Maloney have said which member was giving tours, but social media has been abuzz with questions and accusations that members of Congress may have given tours to or otherwise communicated with rioters, especially as video and other evidence surfaces that demonstrates some of the people who stormed the Capitol had extensive knowledge of the building’s interior and of the best ways to navigate it.
Maloney responded to Boebert’s letter on Twitter, saying he had never said Boebert’s name in his comments and saying, “If you’re going to be a gun nut, you probably shouldn’t go off half cocked.”
The “gun nut” comment was a reference to later in Maloney’s interview when he spoke about members of Congress who had resisted demands from Capitol police that they go through a metal detector to be allowed onto the floor of Congress, circumstances he said made him hesitant to trust some of his Republican colleagues. Boebert has made headlines for refusing the metal detector and for pushing to be allowed to bring a gun to Congress.
After Maloney’s response, Boebert apologized and told him that he should also clarify his comments publicly.
“I’m glad you clarified you were not making any remarks about me whatsoever,” she tweeted. “Please clarify that with the people making death threats and also MSNBC so they can set the record straight.”
However, some have pointed out that although Maloney clarified that he had not named Boebert in his comments, he also did not deny that she was the member in question; that member remains unnamed.
John Purcell is an intern for The Durango Herald and The Journal in Cortez and a student at American University in Washington, D.C.