Begich campaign slams NRSC claim

JUNEAU (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s campaign is labeling as false a claim made by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

In a release Friday, the committee said Begich was “set to travel around Alaska raising money with liberal Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand” (JILL’-ih-brand).

Begich’s Friday schedule included a discussion on sexual assault in the military with Gillibrand, a New York senator who has been outspoken on the need to crack down on that violence.

Begich campaign spokeswoman Rachel Barinbaum said Begich did not plan to attend any fundraisers with Gillibrand while she’s in Alaska.

Gillibrand spokeswoman Bethany Lesser says Gillibrand is traveling with other members of Congress, and will continue on to Asia on Saturday. She also said Gillibrand isn’t attending any fundraisers while in Alaska.

A spokeswoman for the NRSC, Brook Hougesen, late Friday sent The Associated Press a copy of an email purporting to be from Begich’s campaign and advertising a lunch reception with Gillibrand on Friday in Anchorage with a $250 suggested donation. Hougesen said the committee was sent the information by a member of the state GOP’s central committee.

Barinbaum said Begich’s campaign sent no such email and that Begich was in Fairbanks all day until about 3 p.m. The roundtable discussion on military sexual assaults was scheduled at 4 p.m.

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