Rep.-elect Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale, is in Washington this week for new member orientation. Not coming with West to the U.S. Capitol is Joyce Kaufman, a South Florida talk radio host whom he picked last week to be his chief of staff but resigned days later after The Florida Independent and other outlets reported on her history of incendiary statements.

Neither West nor Kaufman has defended her past comments. Instead, they allege that their critics are sexist and racist. CNN caught up with West in the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel where a crowd of reporters waited for him as he arrived Sunday morning:

“I think the American people are sick of, and that despicable, disgusting action and the way that they went after Joyce Kaufman shows that not only this liberal left has some issues with racism,” West told CNN. “I guarantee you, if I was a black Democratic Congressman-elect, they would not be doing these type of actions, and the fact that they’re attacking a woman like this, that shows me something about sexism and misogynist behavior.”

For her part, Kaufman held a mini-rally of about 50 people in Fort Lauderdale over the weekend. There, she repeated her reason for stepping down, as she believes she was victim to an “electronic lynching by proxy.”

Luke Johnson reports on Florida for The American Independent.

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