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DNC co-chair Keith Ellison hit with major abuse allegations days before important primary election

Rep. Keith Ellison responds to allegations that he physically and emotionally abused a former girlfriend. Ellison faces a stacked field Tuesday in the primary election for Minnesota attorney general. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is facing allegations that he physically and emotionally abused his former girlfriend, prominent environmental activist Karen Monahan.

Now, Ellison, who is vying to be Minnesota's next attorney general, is being asked to respond to the allegations.

What is Ellison accused of?

In a Facebook post Saturday, Austin Aslim Monahan, son of Sierra Club activist Karen Monahan, claimed Ellison was physically and emotionally abusive while in a relationship with his mother.

"In the middle of 2017, I was using my moms computer trying to download something and I clicked on a file, I found over 100 text and twitters messages and video almost 2 min long that showed Keith Ellison dragging my mama off the bed by her feet, screaming and calling her a 'f***ing bitch' and telling her to get the f*** out of his house," Austin Monahan claimed.

"The messages I found, were mixed with him consistently telling my mom he wanted her back, he missed her, he knew he f***ed up and we wished he could do things different, he would victim shaming, bully her, and threaten her if she went public. I text him and told him I know what you did to my mama and a few other things," he explained.

Austin said he and his brother confronted their mother, who had never mentioned the abuse, but she urged them to not go public with the allegations, claiming it was not in her best interest.

"My mom has always tried to protect me and my brother. She doesn’t have to protect us anymore and we aren’t letting her stand alone," Austin wrote.

On Sunday, Karen Monahan said her son's version of events is the truth.

What are Ellison's opponents saying?

His opponents in the race for Minnesota attorney general called the allegations troubling and called on Ellison to sufficiently respond to the claims, according to WCCO-TV.

How did Ellison respond?

Ellison issued a brief statement Sunday denying the allegations, according to Minnesota Public Radio News.

"This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false," Ellison said.

He added that he still "deeply" cares for Monahan's well-being, despite their long-term relationship coming to an end in 2016.

Ellison is slated to face a stacked field on Tuesday in the primary election for Minnesota attorney general.

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