WATERTOWN — U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, issued a statement Friday in response to reports of a member of her staff asking a pro-Trump activist to rally members of his group to crowd a town hall meeting, coming after the far-right actor threatened press less than a week ago.
According to a report from the Post-Star on Friday, Alex DeGrasse, the director of strategic planning for Ms. Stefanik, reached out to Mike Kibling with North Country Deplorables. The report said Mr. DeGrasse asked Mr. Kibling to bring his group to a scheduled town hall meeting in Kingsbury on Friday. The alleged request comes after Kibling pointed a fake semi-automatic weapon at a Post-Star reporter and said, “Here is my unloaded rifle, Post-Star. Thanks for the calls from the FBI and the BCI (state Bureau of Criminal Investigation),” the article said.
“I was contacted by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s campaign manager, Alex DeGrasse to send his appreciation on behalf of Elise for holding down her Glens Falls office from the invasion of socialists and commies,” Kibling wrote on closed social media groups. (Note: DeGrasse was formerly her campaign manager) “She is asking us to show up early to secure all the seating inside the fire station so that the fake news reporters will only capture supporters clapping and cheering as she announces her accomplishments.”
Madison Anderson, Stefanik’s communications director, said the representative’s staff promotes events through local media, social media and on its website.
“I condemn any threats of violence, any rhetorical threats related to violence,” Ms. Stefanik said in a statement. “I don’t support that. I condemn that, and I think we need to have safe, secure, freedom of speech, and I think we need to have our communities and the physical places where protests are safe for citizens.”
Ms. Anderson did not respond to a request for comment on Mr. DeGrasse reportedly contacting Mr. Kibling and the North Country Deplorables. She said Ms. Stefanik has town halls scheduled all day Friday.
According to the report, on Thursday morning, Post-Star Editor Ken Tingley sent an email to Ms. Anderson in response to the alleged invitation. Urging the congresswoman to visit the Glens Falls newspaper and explain to the staff and their families why she “has put them in danger,” Tingley called on Ms. Stefanik to denounce the actions of Mr. DeGrasse and renounce any affiliation with Mr. Kibling.