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Republican congressman: My former employee at that Proud Boys rally ‘was never a senior aide’

Carlos Curbelo's former Field Director and Director of Constituent Services is palling around with Proud Boys.

Carlos Curbelo with Paul Ryan and Cathy McMorris Rogers in the U.S. Capitol on October 24, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Carlos Curbelo with Paul Ryan and Cathy McMorris Rogers in the U.S. Capitol on October 24, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

ThinkProgress reported on Saturday that a former aide for Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) was part of the angry mob at Wednesday’s Proud Boys demonstration near Miami that required Capitol Police to lock down an event with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Curbelo condemned the protesters in a Saturday tweet, but did not address the apparent involvement of Kevin Cabrera, his former employee.

During a Sunday debate with Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Curbelo’s Democratic challenger in Florida’s 26th congressional district, the Republican lawmaker claimed Cabrera “was never a senior aide of mine.”

According to Cabrera’s biography on the website for the Southern Strategy Group, where he now works with the Miami Republican chairman who reportedly planned Wednesday’s protest with the Proud Boys, he served as the Field Director for Curbelo’s 2014 campaign and was later appointed to Director of Constituent Services.

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Melvin Félix, a campaign spokesperson for Mucarsel-Powell, who was at Wednesday’s event with Pelosi and Donna Shalala (D-FL), addressed Curbelo’s denial in a statement.

“On this issue, as with so many others, Congressman Curbelo’s empty statements show a lack of courage and leadership. His failure to call for the resignation of Nelson Diaz, his failure to denounce his former staffer, and his failure to apologize to Debbie and the other women present Wednesday when given the chance, speaks volumes about a congressman who claims to care about civil discourse.”