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AOC distanced herself from Bernie Sanders' campaign after alleged conflicts over immigration rhetoric, Joe Rogan

She was his star surrogate

JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) appeared to be a huge boost to the democratic socialist's presidential campaign — but shortly before the Iowa caucuses, the relationship between the two like-minded politicians cooled off, HuffPost reported.

Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) were competing for the Ocasio-Cortez's endorsement, and she came out in favor of Sanders in October when he was fading somewhat in the polls and recovering from a heart attack that threatened his candidacy.

Iowa issues: Between October and late January, Ocasio-Cortez spoke for Sanders at 15 large rallies, including crucial events in Iowa while Sanders was in Washington, D.C., for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Problems surfaced after a Jan. 25 rally in which Ocasio-Cortez gave an entire speech on Sanders' behalf without mentioning his name once. She also encouraged people to work against immigration authorities on behalf of illegal immigrants. HuffPost reported that Sanders' campaign manager Faiz Shakir told Ocasio-Cortez he didn't like her advocating for open noncooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, although Shakir has denied such communication.

Joe Rogan conflict: Sanders picked up another high-profile endorsement during that same late January period, when popular podcast host Joe Rogan indicated that he'd be voting for Sanders.

That endorsement was controversial in progressive circles, because Rogan has said some decidedly non-progressive things about transgender people — specifically that biological men who transition to become transgender women should not be able to compete in mixed martial arts fights against biological women.

Still, Sanders' campaign chose to embrace and publicize Rogan's endorsement — and Ocasio-Cortez was reportedly unhappy with that decision.

Ocasio-Cortez backs away: After a Jan. 26 event in Iowa, Ocasio-Cortez didn't campaign for Sanders for more than two weeks before showing up in New Hampshire, although a source familiar with the situation told HuffPost "it was like pulling teeth" to make that happen.

In the next month after that Feb. 10 New Hampshire appearance, Ocasio-Cortez reportedly turned down numerous requests from the Sanders campaign to speak for him in Nevada and South Carolina. Former Vice President Joe Biden's big wins in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday allowed Biden to take control of the primary from Sanders.

(H/T: The Daily Wire)

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