Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) claims he was a victim of “McCarthyism” after critics dubbed him “Moscow Mitch” for blocking a bill to protect U.S. elections from Russian meddling.

McConnell wrote on Twitter on Monday:

Modern-day McCarthyism is poison for American democracy. It is shameful to imply that policy disagreements make the other side unpatriotic. The people who push such unhinged smears are doing Putin’s destabilizing work for him.

— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) July 29, 2019

On Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) offered up a correction:

McCarthyism is the practice of baselessly accusing political opponents of being communists as unjust grounds for targeting & harassment.You are blocking action to protect US elections despite official DoJ pleas. That doesn’t make you a communist. It just makes you a bad leader.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 30, 2019

Last week, McConnell blocked a bill passed by the House that would have authorized $775 million to help protect state election systems from Russian hacking and other threats. That action prompted critics to dub him “Moscow Mitch.”

McConnell defended himself on the Senate floor by calling two of his critics “hyperventilating hacks.”

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