Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused Republicans of harboring “legitimate white supremacists” within their ranks while calling out GOP leaders for allegedly excusing it.
In a segment with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, the self-described Democratic socialist from New York, who herself has been accused of anti-Semitism, also claimed that GOP leaders in the House are somehow excusing racism and insurrection.
Hayes opened the segment by referencing an Instagram video Ocasio-Cortez posted to her account shortly after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building, in which she claimed she feared for her life.
“Congressman Hakeem Jeffries was on the program last night talking about his family member receiving texts saying, we’re coming for you, we’re outside your house,” Hayes said. “How do you understand the nature of the caucus of the Republican Party that you serve with right now in the aftermath of this and the vote they took to overturn the election and this desire to, quote, turn the page?”
“Yeah, you know, I actually sense a profound difference between the Republican caucus of last term, the 115th Congress, and the Republican caucus that — of this term,” Ocasio-Cortez began.
“It really felt that, last term, the Republican caucus was one of extreme fealty to Donald Trump. There were some that were true believers. Others that simply remained quiet out of cowardice and out of fear of the president’s retribution,” the New York Democrat continued.
“But this term there are legitimate white supremacist sympathizers that sit at the heart and at the core of the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives,” she said, offering no evidence of her explosive claim while getting no pushback from Hayes.
“It increasingly seems, unfortunately, that in the House Republican caucus, [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy [R-Calif.] answers to these QAnon members of Congress, not the other way around,” she continued.
“I’ve seen Kevin McCarthy pull someone aside before for a talking to. And that representative that I saw him do that to was Representative Ted Yoho of Florida,” Ocasio-Cortez noted further, in reference to a confrontation she had on the steps of the Capitol last summer.
“What Kevin McCarthy did was that he pulled him aside to essentially excuse his behavior, to allow it, and to abet it,” Ocasio-Cortez told Hayes. “And actually Kevin McCarthy’s lack of holding his own caucus accountable is one major reason why I went to the floor last year to hold Yoho accountable myself.”
“What is he going to tell them? Keep it up?” she went on. “Because there are no consequences in the Republican caucus for violence. There’s no consequences for racism. No consequences for misogyny. No consequences for insurrection. And no consequence means that they condone it. It means that that silence is acceptance, and they want it because they know that it is a core animating political energy for them.”
Republicans have regularly blasted Democratic leaders including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for failing to hold Ocasio-Cortez and other so-called “Squad” members like Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) accountable for their anti-Jewish remarks.
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