Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, asserted Sunday that he was unaware of an NRSC press release claiming evidence of cooked books in the Arizona Senate race.
The baseless accusation drew criticism from the late Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) speechwriter Mark Salter, who called the claim “despicable.” The NRSC is Republicans’ official Senate campaign organization.
As quoted by the Arizona Republic’s Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, an NRSC email referring to Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes read: “If you thought the Arizona Democrats’ voter suppression tactics weren’t shady enough, now look at the questionable Maricopa County election official who has been using his position to cook the books for Kyrsten Sinema.”
Gardner told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that “there’s a lot of releases that are going to go out that I don’t see.”
“I’m not familiar with this one,” he said.
NRSC Chair Cory Gardner claims ignorance of statements from his organization asserting that there is a "Maricopa County election official who has been using his position to cook the books for Kyrsten Sinema.” pic.twitter.com/tPSInZr5mC
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) November 11, 2018
Read the tweets Gardner was asked about, first from NRSC communications staffer Calvin Moore and then from Salter, below:
WOW. The AZ election official destroying evidence to cook the books for @kyrstensinema defended narco-terrorists.
— Calvin Moore (@CalvinMoore_) November 10, 2018
Stop doing this, NRSC. McSally is losing fair and square, and she’s underperforming in more than Maricopa. The race is almost certainly lost and nothing will change that. All this does is poison our politics more. Despicable. https://t.co/b5ma1o0ikD
— Mark Salter (@MarkSalter55) November 10, 2018