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Trump: Ocasio-Cortez being 'very disrespectful' to Pelosi

The Hill logo The Hill 7/12/2019 Brett Samuels
a close up of a person: Trump: Ocasio-Cortez being 'very disrespectful' to Pelosi © Greg Nash Trump: Ocasio-Cortez being 'very disrespectful' to Pelosi

President Trump on Friday criticized Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) amid a dispute between the freshman congresswoman and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The president came to Pelosi's defense when he was asked about the simmering feud as he left the White House for fundraisers in Wisconsin and Ohio.

"I think Cortez is being very disrespectful to somebody who's been there a long time," Trump said, chastising the first-term lawmaker without using her full last name.

"I deal with Nancy Pelosi a lot and we go back and forth and it's fine, but I think that a group of people is being very disrespectful to her," he continued. "And you know what, I don't think that Nancy can let that go on."

Ocasio-Cortez "should treat Nancy Pelosi with respect," he added.

Ocasio-Cortez expressed frustration with Pelosi after the Speaker gave an interview over the weekend in which she downplayed the significance of four progressive Democrats who bucked party leadership on a border funding vote late last month.

Ocasio-Cortez told The Washington Post on Wednesday that she felt Pelosi was targeting her and three other progressive freshman women of color known as the "squad": Reps. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.).

She reiterated that stance on Thursday, but clarified that Pelosi is "absolutely not" racist.

Trump seized on the latter point, and backed Pelosi.

"She is not a racist," Trump said. "For them to call her a racist is a disgrace."

The barbs from Ocasio-Cortez have sparked a wave of infighting among Democrats in recent days, with several caucus members rushing to defend the Speaker.

--Updated 10:57 a.m.

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