Boebert blasts Cohen for 'irresponsible' claim she led Capitol tour before riot

Freshman Republican says she has 'never given a tour of the U.S. Capitol to any outside group'

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., blasted Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., on Monday for suggesting she took rioters on a tour of the U.S. Capitol shortly before Jan. 6, something Boebert has denied.

"During your interview on CNN today, you made false, slanderous statements that have threatened the safety of my family, my staff and me," Boebert wrote in a letter to Cohen. "It's unfortunate that you have connected my family being in D.C. for my swearing-in with the Capitol riots ... I have never given a tour of the U.S. Capitol to any outside group."

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"As I previously stated, I brought my family to the Capitol on Jan. 2 for a tour and on the 3rd for pictures to commemorate the day I was sworn in as a member of the U.S. Congress," Boebert continued. "Again, the only people I have ever had in the Capitol with me during the 117th Congress are my young children, husband, mom, aunt and uncle."

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., center, smiles after joining other freshman Republican House members for a group photo at the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., center, smiles after joining other freshman Republican House members for a group photo at the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ((AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite))

"Your false statements are extraordinarily irresponsible during this period in time," she wrote.

More than 30 House Democrats signed a letter last week claiming their Republican colleagues may have aided Capitol rioters by providing them with "reconnaissance" tours of the U.S. Capitol but have yet to flesh out their accusations. Cohen is not one of the original signatories of the letter.

"Only thing that I've seen, Congressman [John] Yarmuth refreshed my recollection yesterday, we saw Boebert taking a group of people for a tour sometime after [Jan. 3] and before [Jan. 6]," Cohen told CNN on Monday. "And she had a large group with her. Now whether they were people that were involved in the insurrection or not, I do not know. ... But it is pretty clear that her team is the team – she's not on the home team. She was with the visitors."

House Democrats last week requested an immediate probe from Capitol Police and the acting House and Senate sergeants-at-arms into "suspicious behavior."

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Their letter does not name any members or staff who may have led the alleged "reconnaissance" tours, as Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., described them, or give more detail on why the visitors appeared suspicious.

"The visitors encountered by some of the members of Congress on this letter appeared to be associated with the rally at the White House the following day," the lawmakers wrote. "Members of the group that attacked the Capitol seemed to have an unusually detailed knowledge of the layout of the Capitol complex. The presence of these groups within the Capitol complex was indeed suspicious."

Boebert, who was criticized for tweeting "Today is 1776" hours before the U.S. Capitol was stormed, told Fox News last week that she had not given tours to members of the public. 

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"Due to COVID-19, I have not given any Capitol tours except to show my children around where I'll be working while I'm away from home," Boebert said in a statement on Thursday.

Fox News' Ronn Blitzer and David Aaro contributed to this report.