News & Politics

Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Put Her Boyfriend on the Public Payroll? Rumors Swirl

Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Put Her Boyfriend on the Public Payroll? Rumors Swirl
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., second from left, and her mother Blanca Ocasio-Cortez, left, react as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., walks over to them for a photo during a ceremonial swearing-in on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

On Friday morning, a remarkable screenshot surfaced on Twitter showing that Riley Roberts, the boyfriend of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), appears to have a congressional “staff” email address. A calendar invite lists his name, Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional phone number, and the email address.

Luke Thompson, a podcast host and former staffer for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), posted the photo on Twitter. “While you were having a nice Valentine’s Day, [Ocasio-Cortez] decided to put her boyfriend on staff – drawing a salary on the taxpayer’s dime. Nice to see her adapting to the swamp so quickly.”

Various outlets have reported that Riley Roberts, head of marketing at, is Ocasio-Cortez’s squeeze. He attended her swearing-in and can be seen on the right side of the photo below.

Ocasio-Cortez shot down the insinuation but confirmed that the screenshot showing the email address is legitimate.

“Actually this cal designation is a permission so he can have access to my Google Cal. Congressional spouses get Gcal access all the time. Next time check your facts before you tweet nonsense,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

“He’s not your spouse,” Thompson shot back. “Is he being paid? At what level? It says ‘staff’ not spouse or boyfriend. Furthermore he doesn’t appear to be in any groups and the House doesn’t use Google. Are you giving him access to your official calendar? Why does he have his own email address?”

Ocasio-Cortez did not respond to these questions, nor did she respond to multiple requests for comment from PJ Media.

Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, responded, “He’s not paid. We have no volunteers in the office. He’s not doing any government work. He can see her calendar just like spouses/partners/family members in other congressional office. Check your damn facts before you report bullshit. Lazy journos need to learn to do their jobs.”

Thompson found an internal House listing for Riley Roberts.

Club for Growth analyst Andrew Follett explained the pickle Ocasio-Cortez is in.

Rumors swirled that Ocasio-Cortez tried to get Thompson banned from Twitter.

Jordan Haverly, director of communications for Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), shared the official policy declaring that “Only U.S. House of Representatives Members, Officers, Employees, Fellows, Interns and Contractors who have received permission under the appropriate Hiring Authority are authorized users of the House’s electronic mail systems and resources.”

In the aftermath, Riley Roberts deleted his LinkedIn profile.

The Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein tweeted that “there’s no evidence” Ocasio-Cortez hired Roberts. Thompson shot back with the photo of Roberts’ name in the House database.

Thompson also poked fun at Ocasio-Cortez. “Also, being told to check facts before tweeting nonsense by [Ocasio-Cortez] is just perfection,” he tweeted, mocking her disastrous rollout of the “Green New Deal,” along with many other public snafus.

An email address ending in “” is standard practice for staff in the House of Representatives. Ocasio-Cortez did not explain why her boyfriend has one. While it stands to reason that spouses might get their own email addresses, the official policy Haverly tweeted out suggests otherwise, and after all, Riley Roberts is only her boyfriend.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.