Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tried to grill the CEO of Wells Fargo during his testimony before Congress on Tuesday but it resulted in embarrassing video for the upstart freshman congresswoman.
Timothy Sloan testified in the House Financial Services Committee Hearing meant to hold "megabanks" accountable. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) chairs the committee and headed the hearing.
Ocasio-Cortez first tried to tie the bank to family separations at the border, but Sloan simply denied they had any direct involvement.
"Why was the bank involved in the caging of children and financing the caging of children to begin with?" Ocasio-Cortez asked.
"I don't know how to answer that question because we weren't," Sloan replied flatly.
"Uh, so in finan... you've, you were financing, involved in debt financing in CoreCivic and GEO group, correct?" Ocasio-Cortez continued, referring to two public prison firms.
"For a period of time, we were involved in financing one of the firms, we are not anymore," Sloan said. "I'm not familiar with the specific assertion you are making, we were not involved in that."
Here's the video of the AOC questioning:
Exchange between Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Wells Fargo CEO (C-SPAN) www.youtube.com
Ocasio-Cortez then turned to global warming issues surrounding the financing of various oil pipelines.
She asked if Wells Fargo should pay for spills from the Keystone XL pipeline, but Sloan responded that they didn't directly finance that pipeline. She had to move on.
Ocasio-Cortez then asked if they should be liable for global warming effects from their pipeline financing.
"I don't know how'd you calculate that, congresswoman," Sloan replied.
"Say from spills, or when we have to reinvest in infrastructure building sea walls from the erosion uh, of," Ocasio-Cortez stammered, "um, from the erosion of infrastructure or cleanups, wildfires, et cetera."
"Related to that pipeline?" Sloan asked. "I'm not aware that there's been any of what you've described that's occurred that's related to that pipeline."
Ocasio-Cortez, clearly growing impatient, demanded to know why Wells Fargo shouldn't pay for clean up from theoretical spills in the future that haven't happened yet.
"Because we don't operate the pipeline," he responded, "we provide financing to the company that's operating the pipeline."
Despite being unable to corner the CEO, Ocasio-Cortez declared victory on social media and demanded that those who disagree with her stop debating and simply cave to her demands.
"It's too late for us to not have to deal w/ the impact of climate change," she tweeted. "At this point we shouldn't be debating IF we do it, it's how."