US journalist mocked for accusing elderly congresswoman of shoving him

A political reporter in the US has been lambasted online after alleging an elderly congresswoman "initiated unwarranted physical contact" when she brushed off a microphone he was holding in her face.

In footage of the incident, 78-year-old Democrat Maxine Waters - who is one of the leading voices in the push to get US President Donald Trump impeached - was stopped by Young Turks reporter Michael Tracey at a March for Truth protest in LA on Saturday (local time).

The journalist asked why 60 percent of the posts on her Twitter profile had something to do with either Russia's alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential election, or its ties to the Trump administration.

Her response was that she considered herself having a big part to play in protecting her nation's democracy - saying defiantly "Russia is not our friend".

However, things started to become tense when Mr Tracey used that phrase against her when he asked whether she deemed former President Barack Obama's military co-operation with Russia a mistake.

"You and I have a different agenda, young man. I'm out to impeach this President. Get that straight: I'm out to impeach the President. And I'm not gonna be diverted by people who are Obama haters," she said, before flicking her wrist upwards to deflect his microphone away, and walking off.

However that light swipe at the microphone was perceived as something quite different by Mr Tracey, who released a lengthy statement on Twitter describing it as a "push", "shove" and "swat" at various different points.

"I've interviewed many members of Congress and never once have any of them initiated unwarranted physical contact. Maxine Waters did just that today," he wrote.

"I wasn't meaningfully impeding her path: there was no reason for the contact. My camera person observed the incident and immediately identified it as a shove or push.

"[The footage] just shows Waters to be erratic, intemperate, and unprofessional."

However the statement has backfired horribly, with Mr Tracey receiving scores of tweets ridiculing him for claiming a 78-year-old woman's attempted exit was "unwarranted physical contact".

Ms Waters has since responded to Mr Tracey's claims, saying video of the incident proves his allegations are baseless.

"This 125-pound woman is not around pushing these big men. So he just lied," Ms Waters told MSNBC. "If you look at the video, it shows you that was no pushing. I walked away from him."