Rachel Schilke writes for the Washington Examiner about a controversy involving a Republican campaign organization and a high-profile Democratic operative.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is brushing off demands from three freshman House Democrats to retract a “tongue-in-cheek” press release claiming the lawmakers supported Hamas.

On Friday, legal counsel from the Elias Law Group representing Reps. Andrea Salinas (D-OR) and Gabe Vasquez (D-NM) and from Olson Remcho LLP representing Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-CO) sent immediate cease and desist letters to the NRCC, accusing the organization of false statements and defamation after they published several press releases with the headline “allegedly ‘quoting’” the representatives saying “I support Hamas.”

In the Democratic letters obtained by the Washington Examiner, general counsel Rachel Jacobs and Emma Anspach write on behalf of Salinas and Vasquez, arguing that the members have “never uttered the phrase, ‘I support Hamas.’” 

“NRCC knows that Representative Vasquez did not make this statement and does not even try to attribute it; this brazen action by NRCC will not go unnoticed,” Jacobs and Anspach wrote. “We demand that you remove these false and defamatory statements and issue a correction immediately. If you do not comply, we are prepared to pursue all available legal actions.”

The press release from the NRCC in question had a headline of “I support Hamas” followed by the name of the member, with a line in the body text that said, “Nothing says ‘I support Hamas’ like withholding help from Israel.”

The NRCC, in three letters to the Democrats’ lawyers and shared exclusively with the Washington Examiner, called these releases “tongue-in-cheek” and that the “commentary” quotes should not be the Democrats’ top priorities.

“Rep. Caraveo argues that the quote is directly attributable to her; despite the fact that the press release goes on to clarify that the title is not a direct quote, but rather a commentary on her recent vote on H.R. 3639 – Israel Support Assistance Act,” NRCC general counsel Erin Clark wrote in a letter on Monday to Andrew Harris Werbrock, Caraveo’s lawyer, that mirrors the other two he sent to Vasquez and Salinas.