Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Blasts Mitch McConnell After Photo Shows 'Team Mitch' Members 'Groping And Choking' Life-sized Cutout Of Her

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has blasted Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after a photo emerged showing several male teenagers in "Team Mitch" T-shirts pretending to choke, kiss and grope a life-sized cutout of her.

Sharing the photo, which appeared to have been taken at the Fancy Farm Picnic in Kentucky and was posted to Instagram with the caption "break me off a piece of that Fancy Farm," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted at McConnell, writing: "These young men look like they work for you."

"Just wanted to clarify: Are you paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress [with] your payroll, or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?"

In a statement shared with Newsweek on Wednesday, McConnell's campaign manager Kevin Golden said the young men pictured in the photo "are not campaign staff, they're high schoolers."

Golden further sought to defend the young men, while railing against liberals and the media for looking "for every possible way to demonize, stereotype, and publicly castigate every young person who dares to get involved with Republican politics."

"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," Golden said.

The campaign manager also pointed to a similar incident, in which Jon Favreau, former President Barack Obama's former speechwriter, was pictured groping a cutout of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a party, asserting that his campaign team "in no way" condones "any aggressive, suggestive, or demeaning act toward life-sized cardboard cutouts of any gender in a manner similar to what we saw from President Obama's speechwriting staff several years ago."

In a separate tweet from McConnell's official campaign Twitter account, the GOP senator's team described how "an angry left-wing mob" had assembled outside his house on Monday "screaming obscenities and hoping someone would 'just stab the motherf***** in the heart."

While the protest appeared to be unrelated to Ocasio-Cortez's tweet, the campaign team slammed the New York representative "and liberal Twitter personalities" for "trying to dox some underage kids for taking a photo with a cutout at the Fancy Farm political picnic."

Accusing her and other liberals of "cheering on thousands of accounts calling for Senator McConnell to 'break his neck," the campaign team said: "These threats go far beyond a political cartoon or a broken shoulder, they are serious calls to physical violence."

As a result, the campaign team said they had alerted law enforcement.

The photo of the teenagers went viral after it was shared by the popular social media account "feminist next door," with the caption: "Seven young white men in 'Team Mitch' t-shirts gathered round a distressed-looing cardboard @AOC, groping and kissing her...Future federal judges of America."

A number of the teenagers pictured in the photo have been named on social media, with users demanding answers from their school.

Newsweek has contacted the named school to confirm if the teens are students, and for comment on the incident if they are students.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) pauses while speaking during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 15, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Ocasio-Cortez has slammed Sen. Mitch McConnell after an image appearing to show a group of young 'Team Mitch' supporters pretending to choke, kiss and grope a life-sized cutout of her. Alex Wroblewski/Getty
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Blasts Mitch McConnell After Photo Shows 'Team Mitch' Members 'Groping And Choking' Life-sized Cutout Of Her | U.S.
{{label}}
{{title}}
EDITOR'S PICK