Rep. Claudia Tenney reached her wit’s end at a campaign stop Sunday while she tried to clarify controversial remarks she made after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month.
“It’s fake news!” the New York Republican said about the media coverage of her comments and of mass shootings in general. “I answered your question every which way. It is fake news. Bye.”
The footage does not reveal who asked the question, nor what was asked.
Tenney, a vulnerable freshman lawmaker with an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, represents New York’s 22nd District, which the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting this year.
Watch: After Parkland, A Look at Previous Gun Control Efforts in Congress
Tenney made headlines in February for a radio interview in which she said “so many” of the people who commit mass murders “end up being Democrats.”
“The media doesn’t talk about that,” she added.
New York Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, a Democratic challenger, tweeted that her “toxic rhetoric is shameful and a new low.”
“Inserting politics into a national tragedy is beyond the pale & disgusting,” Brindisi wrote. “She should apologize now to spare our region any more national embarrassment.”
On the video at the campaign event Sunday, Tenney tried to contextualize her comments over repeated interruptions from the reporter.
“The media, the Democrats, what are they doing? Turn on the TV,” Tenney said. “The drumbeat every single day, ‘Republicans, Republicans, Republicans, the NRA, the Republicans cause all of these things to happen.’”
“It isn’t just Republicans who commit all these terrible crimes. It is across all sectors, and it is people who are typically mentally unstable,” she said.
The 22nd District race could turn heated as national groups funnel resources to the contest.
Brindisi outraised Tenney by roughly $100,000 in the last filing quarter of 2017, per Federal Election Commission records.
The incumbent is unfazed by the numbers, though.
“Claudia has been outspent in every campaign she’s ever run because the political class in Albany and Washington is committed to defeating her,” campaign manager Raychel Renna said in a February statement to the Observer-Dispatch in Utica, New York. “She wins because the people of Upstate New York know Claudia is fighting for them.”