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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez threatened disloyal Dems with primary ‘list.’ Now she’s backtracking.
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez threatened disloyal Dems with primary ‘list.’ Now she’s backtracking.

Dissention among Democratic ranks

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) ignited controversy among House Democratic ranks this week after allegedly threatening Democrats who vote with Republicans that they will be put on a "list" for primary challenges.

Now, Ocasio-Cortez is backtracking.

What happened?

During a closed-door meeting Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) admonished two dozen moderate Democrats for sometimes siding with Republicans, urging unequivocal support for the Democratic agenda and universal condemnation of Republican policies.

"We are either a team or we're not, and we have to make that decision," Pelosi said, according to the Washington Post.

Then Ocasio-Cortez "upped the ante," the Post reported, suggesting during the meeting that she would help unseat disloyal moderate Democrats. Corbin Trent, Ocasio-Cortez's spokesman, said Ocasio-Cortez told her Democratic colleagues that if they continue to support Republican policies, they "are putting themselves on a list" for a primary challenge.

More from the Post:

Triggering the blowup was Wednesday's votes on a bill to expand federal background checks for gun purchases. Twenty-six moderate Democrats joined Republicans in amending the legislation, adding a provision requiring that ICE be notified if an illegal immigrant seeks to purchase a gun.

Unsurprisingly, Ocasio-Cortez's threat rocked moderate Democrats who believe they are responsible for giving Democrats the majority in the House.

What is Ocasio-Cortez saying now?

On Friday, Ocasio-Cortez claimed she did not level the threat, despite other mainstream media outlets corroborating the Post's reporting.

By Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez doubled-down, this time invoking Immigration and Customs Enforcement, claiming the agency "pins children down" and "forcibly injects them w/ antipsychotic drugs." She also claimed there is "widespread reporting of rape" among ICE ranks; she did not cite evidence to back the claim.

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