12:22 GMT +313 November 2019
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    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listens during a House Financial Services Committee hearing with leaders of major banks, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington

    Ocasio-Cortez Slams McConnell After Image Appears of ‘Mitch Boys’ Touching and Choking Her Cutout

    © AP Photo / Patrick Semansky
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    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, asking if he condones the young men wearing “Team Mitch” shirts appearing to practice "groping & choking members of Congress?"

    In the image, which went viral on Monday, one of the men in the photo has his arm around AOC’s cardboard cutout and appears to be kissing it. Another looks to be putting his hand around the congresswoman’s neck, as if to choke her. The photo, now deleted, was posted to Instagram with the caption: “break me off a piece of that.”

    Ocasio-Cortez retweeted the photo to McConnell, who is running for re-election next year, asking if he was “paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll, or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?”

    The McConnell campaign said in a statement that it “in no way condones” the image, but it condemned "the far-left and the media" for writing about the incident.

    “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,” said Kevin Golden, McConnell’s campaign manager, in the statement.

    The picture was taken over the weekend at the 139th Annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Kentucky, a political event attended by both Democrats and Republicans.

    One of the young men involved appeared to apologize online, posting a picture of a note-card that says, “I was wrong ... I’m sorry." In his caption, he wrote: “My friends and I sincerely apologize to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, Senator McConnell, to our school, St. Jerome Parish, and our community for our insensitive actions at Fancy Farm this past weekend.”


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