Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fl.) attempted to distance himself from former aide Kevin Cabrera on Sunday after Caberera’s reported involvement with a Proud Boys demonstration last week.
On Wednesday, Cabrera was reported to be part of a mob of right-wing protestors who banged doors and heckled House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as she entered a campaign event in Miami for Donna Shalala, the Democratic nominee in Florida’s 27th District.
The protest involved local Republicans and members of the Proud Boys, Gavin McInnes’ right-wing chauvinist group.
Footage of the incident with Pelosi recorded by one of the Proud Boys and uploaded online, showed them cursing at her as she walked past.
“You don’t belong here you fucking communist fuck,” someone shouts. “You and your fucking Democrats.”
Rep. Curbelo condemned the incident on Saturday, making no mention of his former aide’s involvement.
Fully agree https://t.co/l02UqzvTlc
— Carlos Curbelo (@carloslcurbelo) October 20, 2018
However, when confronted on their association during Sunday’s debate with Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell—his challenger for the 26th district—Rep. Curbelo decided to downplay his own association with Cabrera
“That gentleman,” he said, “was never a senior aide.”
Cabrera, however, served Rep. Curbelo as Field Director for his 2014 congressional campaign and later was promoted as his Director of Constituent Services.
Cabrera now works for the Southern Strategy Group, under Miami Republican chairman Nelson Diaz, who helped organize the demonstration with the Proud Boys.
Diaz, who had denied involvement but was present, was forced to admit his role after emails showing him as a key point of contact leaked. He then apologized, claiming to not have known who the Proud Boys were.
The confrontation came just one day after Proud Boys founder, Gavin McInnes, told the press that members of his organization involved in a violent attack on three men in mid-October in New York would turn themselves in to police.
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