- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the “explicit singling out of newly elected women of colour,” referring to a group of freshman Democrats who have disagreed with Pelosi.
- Ocasio-Cortez told The Washington Post that Pelosi’s criticism of her and other members of the unofficial group had become “outright disrespectful.”
- Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley have clashed with Pelosi over the Democratic Party’s stance on issues like border control and impeaching President Donald Trump.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of engaging in “explicit singling out of newly elected women of colour” in her attempts to maintain control of the Democratic Party.
In a new interview with The Washington Post, Ocasio-Cortez complained that Pelosi’s treatment of a group of freshman congresswomen had become “outright disrespectful.”
Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley, all in their first term, often vocally disagree with more senior Democratic members of Congress on issues including border control and whether to pursue the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Ocasio-Cortez told The Post that Pelosi had been making “comments” about the group, a move she increasingly viewed as “disrespectful.”
“When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,” she said.
“But the persistent singling out … it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful … the explicit singling out of newly elected women of colour.”
She did not expand the issue of race, which she mentioned only once.
According to The Post, Ocasio-Cortez’s group is trying to manage Pelosi’s recent efforts to isolate them.
The four women – sometimes referred to as the “Squad” – are considering how to respond to Pelosi, according to The Post, including whether they should confront her.
Ocasio-Cortez said she didn’t want to talk to Pelosi about it, saying: “There hasn’t really been a relationship, to be frank.”
Pressley told The Post that Pelosi’s recent comments were “demoralising” and that worries about the “signal that it sends to people I speak to and for, who sent me here with a mandate, and how it affects them.”
The other group members have had more positive interactions, The Post reported, though still feel isolated.
Pelosi has downplayed the four women’s influence on the party, which she characterised as existing primarily online and in the media. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi told The New York Times recently.
“But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”
She was speaking about the group’s opposition to a border bill in June, which the House voted in favour of.
In response to the Times article, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, tweeted: “All these articles want to claim what a legislative mastermind Pelosi is, but I’m seeing way more strategic smarts from freshman members.”
“Pelosi is just mad that she got outmaneuvered (again) by Republicans.”
On Wednesday, Pelosi told Democrats in a closed-door meeting that they should not tweet complaints about other party members, Politico reported.
“You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it,” she reportedly said. “But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just OK.”
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