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AOC gets pressed by Jake Tapper on whether 'concentration camps' existed under Obama, Clinton


Is there a double standard?

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who has taken credit for sparking change by calling immigrant detention facilities "concentration camps," was pressed by CNN's Jake Tapper on Thursday about whether that term applied when the facilities existed under Democratic presidents.

"...using that definition, there were also concentration camps under Obama, and under Bill Clinton. That's in the story that you retweeted," Tapper began. "So, did you call them concentration camps at the time, when Obama was president?"

"Well, at the time, I was working in a restaurant, but I do — I absolutely was outspoken against Obama's immigration policies and the detention of families then," Ocasio-Cortez replied. "I think it's a remarkably consistent position, and I'm not here to defend wrong actions just because they happened under a Democratic administration. I'm here to speak truth to power. If it's wrong, it's wrong, and I frankly don't care what president does it."

Jake Tapper asks AOC if Obama's detention centers were concentration camps youtu.be

And here's the retweet Tapper appears to be referencing:

Tapper also asked Ocasio-Cortez what she would say to Holocaust survivors, or their descendants, who might be hurt by her invocation of the term concentration camp in this context.

"I have many in my district, and our Jewish community has rallied around this issue," Ocasio-Cortez said. "Because when we talk about concentration camps, if we do not also talk about Japanese internment, if we don't talk about the Boer War, if we don't talk about the many times this has happened in the history of humanity, then we also erase the suffering of those people.

"I believe that we have also made sure that we explicitly use the term 'concentration camp.' And we have to learn from the slow process, the slow, dehumanizing process that leads to horrible things happening to people."

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