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The Republican National Committee’s communications director said Thursday that Politico recently “ran a false story” on the RNC and claimed that an editor there was “rude” and “dismissive” to a female staff member.
“Earlier this week, @POLITICO ran a false story about the RNC,” Danielle Alvarez wrote on Twitter, regarding a piece about the RNC’s “election integrity” operations and its work with proponents of Donald Trump’s stolen 2020 election narrative. “When a female member of my team raised our legitimate concerns with editor @PeterCanellos, he was rude, dismissive, and ended the call with ‘I never want to hear from you again.'”
Alvarez also said they reached out to Executive Editor at Politico Dafna Linzer but have yet to hear back.
She added that “unprofessionalism has become a trend” with Politico and referred to another story from 2020 where Politico admittedly did not reach out for comment.
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“Republicans are used to being on the receiving end of negative coverage from corporate media. What we will not accept is disrespect and lack of basic journalistic standards,” she continued in the Twitter thread.
Politico’s story, headlined, “RNC links up with ‘Stop the Steal’ advocates to train poll workers,” referred to recordings of “organizing summits held this spring in Florida and Pennsylvania” that the outlet obtained.
“Publicly, the RNC has insisted its goal is to ensure there are enough trained poll workers to protect the electoral process and ensure partisan parity at polling centers. The recordings, however, indicated that the RNC is relying heavily on people who have spread false or unproven claims of irregularities and conspiracies,” Politico’s Heidi Przybyla wrote.
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Politico also noted the RNC disputes the idea that they are “training” poll workers.
“The RNC, in its email response, said Democrats also have a major Election Day operation through their national party and noted that the Democratic National Committee’s website features a webinar on how to become a poll worker. The RNC also disputes that it trains poll workers. It calls sessions in which statewide ‘election integrity’ directors coach recruits on how to challenge votes and voting processes ‘workshops,’ and all poll workers must attend separate trainings by county clerks,” Przybyla wrote.
RNC officials disputed to Fox News Digital that Przybyla asked questions about the “training” when seeking comment for the story. In an email obtained by Fox News Digital, Przybyla asked a spokesman for comment for the story but didn’t mention the training aspect. It’s unclear if other messages were passed between both sides.
“We are planning a story for Monday based on new tape recordings that have RNC voter integrity director Josh Findlay speaking about how Cleta Mitchell is the real powerhouse behind voting integrity efforts and the RNC’s job is to provide the ‘muscle,’ or staffing and organization. He says this in a few different venues at CPI summits. The chairwoman has been careful about openly embracing former President Trump’s claims about a stolen election; but this indicates that the RNC is depending on a number of the individuals who were key to advancing those claims to build its voter integrity effort. Can you all please let me know if you’d like respond and/or to talk further?” Przybyla asked.
It’s the latest chapter in a feud between the RNC and Politico. RNC chair Ronna McDaniel wrote in June that the RNC “doesn’t conduct poll worker training, we just facilitate,” while responding to a separate Politico piece by Przybyla at the time. The piece the RNC is now disputing is a follow-up to that June article.
“Video recordings of Republican Party operatives meeting with grassroots activists provide an inside look at a multi-pronged strategy to target and potentially overturn votes in Democratic precincts: Install trained recruits as regular poll workers and put them in direct contact with party attorneys,” Przybyla reported on June 1.
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Politico spokesperson Brad Dayspring noted to Fox News Digital that it updated the story with the RNC’s dispute of the term “training” at the time. He said in the original June story on the subject, it included a slide from a presentation at an Election Inspector and Poll Challenger Workshop by Matthew Seifried, the RNC’s election integrity director for Michigan, that said, “Our mission is to recruit, train and place Republican election inspectors in every targeted polling location and absentee count board station in order to make it easy to vote and HARD TO CHEAT.”
“The RNC objected to POLITICO’s use of a term (training) that it uses in its own materials. Despite that contradiction, POLITICO updated the story at the request of the RNC,” Dayspring told Fox News Digital.
Politico added that Peter Canellos, the editor called out by the RNC, “spent considerable time working through the RNC’s objections with the spokesperson and once those arguments were exhausted referred her back to the reporter and asked that she not call him again on this topic and instead work with the reporter.”
RNC senior advisor Richard Walters said, “We were hopeful Politico’s new leadership would have created a fair playing field for Republicans, it is clear the lack of respect and basic journalistic standards from past leadership will remain the status quo.”
Politico also drew criticism in 2020 from the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple when writer Tim Alberta said he didn’t reach out to McDaniel for comment for his piece, “The Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal.” Alberta said McDaniel and her RNC staff had “proven so dishonest and so untrustworthy that I feel no obligation to provide them a platform from which to deceive the public.”
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The RNC raised $14.5 million in June and touted that they made 40 million voter contacts. Party officials said that GOP enthusiasm is “higher than ever.”