ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A video shows Maryland Republican Dan Cox, who is running for governor, accepting a gift from a young man wearing a shirt with a Proud Boys insignia during the candidate’s primary victory party this summer.
The video, obtained by The Washington Post, shows Cox accepting a comb from him.
“Here, this is a present from Maryland Proud Boys to you,” the young man said in video footage publicly posted on Cox’s Vimeo account.
Members of the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, were involved in storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
After accepting the gift, Cox asked the man’s name and shook his hand.
“Nice to meet you,” Cox said, before greeting other supporters.
The Washington Post reports the clip was removed after the newspaper contacted Cox’s campaign, which responded with a statement denying an association with the young man.
“In the noise of the victory celebration, it was hard to hear what was being said,” Cox said, adding that he was surprised by the man handing him something and that “frankly, I did not even keep the comb.”
Cox added: “I had never seen him before, and I have not seen him since. I have no affiliation with anyone involved in violence on January 6th, period.”
Cox has reiterated false claims that the 2020 presidential election “was stolen” from Donald Trump, and he volunteered to help decertify results in Pennsylvania. He has also issued denials and apologies about his conduct surrounding Jan. 6. Although he said he attended the “Stop the Steal” rally, he has said he left before the march to the Capitol.