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Ocasio-Cortez implies Pelosi's criticisms are racially motivated, calls it 'outright disrespectful'

'the explicit singling out of newly-elected women of color'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez escalated her public feud with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, telling The Washington Post she no longer believes Pelosi's criticisms are solely political.

Pelosi has been critical of Ocasio-Cortez, as well as fellow freshman congresswomen Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) for their use of social media to air out criticisms of other Democrats. Pelosi has also downplayed their level of actual influence in the House.

What did Ocasio-Cortez say about it?

"When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm's distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood," Ocasio-Cortez said. "But the persistent singling got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful...the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color."

The decision to imply racial animus from Pelosi is a new frontier in a conflict that had previously been about political strategy and methods.

What has Pelosi said about them?

When the four freshmen voted against a Democratic border funding bill last month, Pelosi pointed out that their social media influence did not translate into real influence in terms of congressional support.

"All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world," Pelosi told The New York Times. "But they didn't have any following. They're four people and that's how many votes they got."

Pelosi has also grown tired of so much Democratic dirty laundry being aired out on Twitter.

"You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it," Pelosi reportedly told Democrats during a closed-door meeting on Wednesday. "But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that is just okay."

According to The Washington Post, Ocasio-Cortez has not spoken one-on-one with Pelosi since February.

"There hasn't really been a relationship, to be frank. It's difficult," Ocasio-Cortez said.

One last thing…
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