Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign claimed Thursday that protesters ran into their parked car at a campaign stop in Grinnell, Iowa. But local police later said that’s not what really happened.

Ramaswamy’s car, with no one inside it, was struck by another car in a parking lot outside a coffeehouse. His campaign told POLITICO Thursday that two protesters hit Ramaswamy’s car, but police say that the accident involved a driver unconnected to the protest.

“Our investigation has revealed no evidence to substantiate” the claim that protesters hit Ramaswamy’s car on purpose and fled, police said in a statement Thursday night.

Instead, police say that a woman had eaten lunch at a deli and backed out of a parking spot into the campaign’s rental vehicle. A report was taken and the driver was released with a summons for unsafe backing.

“[The driver] stated she was not in the area to protest, she did not know who the vehicle she struck belonged to, she did not intentionally back into the vehicle, and she did not flee the scene of the accident,” police said in a statement.

After Iowa police released the statement refuting the Ramaswamy campaign’s claim, Tricia McLaughlin, Ramaswamy’s senior adviser, posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, a photo and video of a person in a car flipping off Ramaswamy but not the actual collision.

“Suppose a guy wearing a MAGA hat is standing amongst protestors at a Democrat presidential candidate’s event, then gets into his car with aggressive bumper stickers, flips off the candidate & screams profanities, lays on his horn, and then reverse-rams the candidate’s parked SUV,” Ramaswamy posted on X in response to the police’s statement. “I’m sure they’d be just as eager to call it an unrelated accident, right?”

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