U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters on Saturday denounced allegations that a member of her staff had posted the personal information of three Republican U.S. senators onto the lawmakers’ Wikipedia pages.
The Los Angeles Democrat asserted that the claims were being pedaled by “ultra-right wing” pundits and websites.
“Lies, lies, and more despicable lies,” Waters said in a statement on Twitter.
The released information reportedly included the home addresses and phone numbers for U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, both of Utah.
The information appeared online Thursday, posted by an unknown person on Capitol Hill during a Senate panel’s hearing on the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The leak came sometime after the three senators had questioned Kavanaugh.
Conservative sites such as Gateway Pundit and RedState reported that the IP address that identifies the source of the posts was associated with Waters’ office and released the information of a member of Waters’ staff, the Hill reported.
“This unfounded allegation is completely false and an absolute lie,” Waters continued. “The member of my staff – whose identity, personal information, and safety have been compromised as a result of these fraudulent and false allegations – was in no way responsible for the leak of this information.”
“This unfounded allegation is completely false and an absolute lie. The member of my staff – whose identity, personal information, and safety have been compromised as a result of these fraudulent and false allegations – was in no way responsible for the leak of this information.”
Waters’ statement quickly drew criticism online, including from former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer.
“This denial is angry,” Fleischer wrote. “This suggests she doesn’t have the temperment to be a Member of Congress. When someone is accused of something they didn’t do, they must not be angry. They must not be defiant. They must not question the motives of the accuser. They must be calm and serene.”
Fleischer was appearing to compare Waters’ reaction to the Democrats’ criticism of Judge Kavanaugh, who was accused by critics of seeming too angry during Thursday’s hearing.
Omar Navarro, a Republican candidate running to unseat Waters in the midterm elections, also voiced his thoughts on Twitter.
“Big if true,” he tweeted.
In her statement, Waters said her office had alerted “the appropriate authorities and law enforcement entities of these fraudulent claims.
“We will ensure that the perpetrators will be revealed,” she continued, “and that they will be held legally liable for all of their actions that are destructible and dangerous to any and all members of my staff.”