Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign on Tuesday accused New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of encouraging threats against the senator and "trying to dox some underage kids" after she blasted a group of McConnell-supporting boys who took a controversial photo with a cardboard cutout of her during a recent Kentucky political event.
"Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and liberal Twitter personalities are trying to dox some underage kids for taking a photo with a cutout at the Fancy Farm political picnic and are cheering on thousands of accounts calling for Senator McConnell to 'break his neck,’" Team Mitch, the Kentucky Republican's campaign account, tweeted on Tuesday.
Doxxing is a term used to describe the practice of revealing personal information, like addresses or phone numbers, about a private individual online. McConnell's campaign did not elaborate when Fox News requested details about the allegation against Ocasio-Cortez.
In a tweet Monday, Ocasio-Cortez did not explicitly call for harassment or threats but she prompted a wave of negative reactions to the boys when she suggested that their gestures -- "groping" and "choking" the cut-out, as she alleged -- represented the "culture" of McConnell's campaign.
"Hey @senatemajldr - these young men look like they work for you," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted at McConnell on Monday. "Just wanted to clarify: are you paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll, or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?"
The photo was reportedly posted on Facebook alongside the caption "break me off a piece of that."
After Ocasio-Cortez's tweet, McConnell's campaign responded by distancing itself from the photo, clarifying that the boys weren't employees of the campaign. “Team Mitch in no way condones any aggressive, suggestive, or demeaning act toward life-sized cardboard cutouts of any gender,” campaign spokesman Kevin Golden said, according to the New York Post.
Golden added: “These young men are not campaign staff, they’re high schoolers and it’s incredible that the national media has sought to once again paint a target on their backs rather than report real, and significant news in our country."
McConnell's campaign appeared to downplay the photo by comparing it to one that a former aide to President Obama took after his election in 2008. The photo, posted at the end of 2008, showed Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau appearing to grope a cardboard cut-out of Hillary Clinton, then Obama's choice for secretary of state.
"Team Mitch in no way condones any aggressive, suggestive, or demeaning act toward life-sized cardboard cut outs of any gender in a manner similar to what we saw from President Obama’s speechwriting staff several years ago,” Golden told The Washington Post.
Also Tuesday, McConnell's campaign appeared to tie Ocasio-Cortez's tweet to another incident in which supporters of McConnell's opponent, Amy McGrath, allegedly "stormed" McConnell's home in Louisville.
"Last night, an angry left-wing mob of Amy McGrath supporters stormed Senator McConnell’s Louisville home screaming obscenities and hoping someone would ‘just stab the motherf---r in the heart,'" the campaign tweeted.
McConnell's campaign also said they have been in touch with law enforcement in response to recent threats made against the senator. The campaign accused Ocasio-Cortez and other liberals on Twitter of “cheering on” these threats.
“These threats go far beyond a political cartoon or a broken shoulder,” McConnell’s campaign said, referencing the Kentucky senator’s recent injury, “they are serious calls to physical violence and we’ve alerted law enforcement.”
Fox News has reached out to Ocasio-Cortez's office for comment.
The Twitter exchange is the latest example of the tension between Ocasio-Cortez and McConnell. The freshman congresswoman has repeatedly criticized McConnell over his refusal to allow votes on Democratic-supported bills on gun control and elections security.