U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tried this week to delegitimize ethics complaints lodged against her by falsely linking watchdog groups to a totally separate Republican super PAC that received a record fine from the FEC over foreign money.
Seemingly frustrated with the ethics complaints that allege off-the-books operations and misuse of congressional resources, the rookie Democratic congresswoman from New York went on Twitter to incorrectly link watchdog groups to Right to Rise, a pro-Jeb Bush super PAC that was hit with a $390,000 fine for accepting more than $1.3 million in illegal donations from Chinese nationals.
“Whoah: the creepy org filing bogus ethics complaints against me just *actually* got hit with one of the biggest fines in FEC history,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a tweet.
But multiple social media users have called out Ocasio-Cortez, noting that the PAC has nothing to do with the groups that lodged the complaints against her.
She then issued something of a correction, claiming it was “Rather same guy who operated at the org,” but the Daily Caller noted her secondary remark also was false.
Former Right to Rise operative Luke Thompson, whom the congresswoman was referencing, was neither mentioned in the complaint against the Republican group nor is he filing ethics complaints against her.
Ocasio-Cortez's posts came in the wake of multiple ethics complaints that allege impropriety by her.
One complaint filed by the Virginia-based National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) alleges that Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti funneled nearly $1 million in contributions from political action committees – set up by Chakrabarti – to private companies that he also controlled.
The group claimed the scheme was devised to illegally dodge detailed legal reporting requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which are designed to track campaign expenditures. Ocasio-Cortez told Fox News that “there is no violation.”
Another complaint, filed by the Coolidge Reagan Foundation, a political nonprofit, claims that Ocasio-Cortez used her newly found congressional privileges in an unethical manner when she set up the House email address for Riley Roberts, boyfriend of Ocasio-Cortez.
“This Complaint alleges Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez improperly converted U.S. House resources to her non-official, personal use by obtaining an official ‘@mail.house.gov’ e-mail address for her boyfriend, despite the fact he was not employed by her congressional office,” reads a line from the complaint obtained by Fox News.
“Moreover, it appears she obtained the e-mail address for him by falsely designating him a ‘staff’ member.”
Fox News’ Perry Chiaramonte and Gregg Re contributed to this report.