Four progressive freshmen Democratic Congresswomen reignited a feud with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that had gone dormant after the party briefly united against President Donald Trump.
Before Trump’s Twitter messages on July 14, a battle between Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was brewing, with Ocasio-Cortez saying Pelosi was “outright disrespectful” and was singling out minorities for criticism.
The feud appeared to stem from Pelosi saying some officials “have their public whatever and their Twitter world but they didn’t have any following.” Ocasio-Cortez later described Pelosi’s actions as “the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”
After a lull where Pelosi and the four freshman lawmakers appeared to unite to attack the president, Tlaib renewed attacks on Pelosi during an interview conducted on July 16.
“She has every right to sit down with her in any moment, any time, with any of us. She is speaker of the House. She can ask for a meeting to sit down with us for clarification,” Tlaib told CBS.
“Acknowledge the fact that we are women of color, so when you do single us out, be aware of that and what you’re doing, especially because some of us are getting death threats, because some of us are being singled out, in many ways because of our backgrounds, because of our experiences and so forth.”
Ocasio-Cortez said that the entire freshman class of lawmakers “was sent here because Americans are sick of how Washington works” before noting that some members of Congress didn’t vote for Pelosi to become speaker of the House and that some disagree with her.
“But that does not mean that there is a fundamental fracture or a dehumanizing going on within our caucus,” Ocasio-Cortez said. Omar also said she doesn’t feel like the relationship between the so-called “squad” and Pelosi.
“I did not say that she was disrespectful of women of color. I found some of the comments disrespectful, and that was my personal opinion. And I did feel that singling out on the basis of one vote was creating an opening,” Ocasio-Cortez said, before noting she personally wasn’t speaking to Pelosi but communicating through intermediaries.
That’s when Tlaib hopped in, pushing back against Pelosi.
Ocasio-Cortez said she was absolutely open to having a face-to-face with Pelosi, as Tlaib said: “Why wouldn’t she sit down with her?”
Gayle King, the CBS interviewer, noted that after the interview was conducted, Ocasio-Cortez and Pelosi were seen on the floor of the House speaking. The House voted on Tuesday to condemn Trump’s tweets, approving a resolution that referred to them as “racist tweets.”
“A spokesman for Speaker Pelosi told us they have received a request from Ocasio-Cortez’s team for a one-on-one meeting and they are working now to schedule it,” King added.