President Donald Trump weighed in on recent tension among House Democrats, saying Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not a racist and that freshman lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been “very disrespectful” toward the leader.
“I don’t think that Nancy can let that one go,” the president told reporters Friday, days after Ocasio-Cortez complained publicly about Pelosi’s treatment of her and three other liberal Democratic first-termers.
Democratic infighting became public last month over an emergency border spending measure, when some liberals opposed Pelosi’s decision to accept a bipartisan Senate bill instead of a House version with greater protections for child migrants.
Pelosi told the New York Times that the four women lawmakers “didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”
Ocasio-Cortez of New York responded by telling the Washington Post that Pelosi was being “outright disrespectful” by the “explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.” Her chief of staff also criticized moderate Democrats on Twitter.
Then, on Thursday, Pelosi told reporters she spoke to the caucus in private after “our members took offense” over the staff member’s Twitter comments.
“How they’re interpreting and carrying it to another place is up to them, but I’m not going to be discussing it any further,” said Pelosi of California.
Trump’s record on racial matters includes the wide condemnation he received in 2017 after saying there were “very fine people on both sides” of a clash between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Virginia.
On Friday, he also claimed that Ocasio-Cortez made up her recent statement on Twitter that detained migrants at one facility were told by U.S. border agents to drink water from toilets if they were thirsty.
Trump criticized one of Ocasio-Cortez’s House allies, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. “If one-half of the things they’re saying about her are true, she shouldn’t even be in office,“ he said.
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