GOP lawmaker tweets out reporter's cell number over emailed question

GOP lawmaker tweets out reporter's cell number over emailed question
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A Republican congressman from Iowa tweeted a screenshot of an email sent by a journalist for The Associated Press on Friday that appeared to contain the journalist's cell phone number.

Rep. Rod Blum tweeted a screenshot of an email sent from AP reporter Ryan Foley late Friday after Foley emailed a press aide in Blum's office about whether the congressman was a member of the Facebook group "Tea Party," which a Democratic-aligned group found hosted racist posts and messages.


According the Democratic group, American Bridge, Blum remains a member of the Facebook group despite Rep. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisTrans rights under attack: The persecution should stop now Florida first lady Casey DeSantis completes chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer Trump by the numbers: 2024 isn't simple MORE (R-Fla.) exiting the group after his membership was reported earlier this week.

A spokesperson for DeSantis told the Tampa Bay Times he was added to the group, and made an administrator, without his knowledge.

Blum blasted the reporter for asking questions.

"Can you believe @rjfoley contacted my staff trying to tie me to racist material being shared by random people worldwide on an open Facebook group I don’t even know exists?" Blum asked in the tweet containing the screenshot.

"I can. This 'journalist' is obsessed [with] hating on Republicans & abuses his position."

American Bridge's communications director responded to Blum's tweet, claiming that he had been a member of the group since 2015 and that his account remains a member on Facebook.

"Congressman, you have been a member of this disgusting group since 2015 ... , and you're STILL in it as of right now. But instead of owning up, you get unhinged. It's no wonder fellow Republicans are thinking about abandoning your re-election campaign. #IA01," Andrew Bates tweeted.

Other moderators of the group, which has attacked Muslims, Black Lives Matter activists and Parkland, Fla., school shooting survivors, include conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec and anti-Muslim activist Pam Gellar.

Posting a person's private information, including contact information, without their knowledge or consent is a violation of Twitter's terms of service, according to its website.

"You may not publish or post other people's private information without their express authorization and permission. Definitions of private information may vary depending on local laws," reads the website.

A request for comment from Twitter representatives on whether or not Blum's tweet violated the site's terms of service was not immediately answered.