On Thursday, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff accused a GOP colleague of bigotry against Koreans -- tweeting that New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur “says his Korean American opponent is 'not one of us'... The dog whistles of bigotry have been put away. Now they’re using trumpets."
"I didn't say that," MacArthur, who is in a tight race this November and also happens to have two adopted Korean children, responded on Twitter within hours.
The claim from Schiff, the top intelligence committee Democrat, is based on a TV ad from the Congressional Leadership Fund in which a female narrator says of MacArthur's Democratic opponent: "Andy Kim is a Pelosi liberal. He's not one of us."
The ad seems to criticize Kim as "not one of us" for being a "Pelosi liberal" and a "Washington insider" -- not for being of Korean descent.
The ad also was not authorized by MacArthur's campaign.
After noting that he never said what Schiff accused him of, MacArthur went on in his tweet, telling Schiff: "You should have done some research before you made such a disgustingly false claim. I have 2 adopted children from South Korea. I don't want your apology, but you sure can apologize to my children."
MacArthur's tweet includes a picture of him with his Korean family members.
MacArthur, who has represented New Jersey's 3rd district since first winning election in 2014, is fighting to stay in office. A New York Times poll in September showed him down by 10 points, but a Stockton University poll from early October has him leading Kim by 1 percentage point.
Despite its issues, more than 6,000 Twitter users "re-tweeted" Schiff's accusatory tweet, and 13,000 "liked" the Tweet.
As of Friday afternoon, Schiff has not responded to MacArthur's statement, deleted his tweet or issued an apology. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.