House Democrats Rip Ocasio-Cortez's Chief Of Staff On Twitter, Escalating Feud

'Who Is This Guy?'

July 12, 2019

The feud between the Democratic establishment and a small but vocal group of far-left Democrats continued to escalate on Friday night as the House Democrats' official Twitter account called out Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D., N.Y.) chief of staff on Twitter.

Last month, Saikat Chakrabarti, co-founder of Justice Democrats and current chief of staff for Ocasio-Cortez, called out the Blue Dog Democrats on Twitter for what he alleged as racism. He compared the centrist group of Democratic lawmakers to racist Southern Democrats from the 1940s. One tweet took aim at Sharice Davids, a Native-American freshman lawmaker.

"I think the point still stands. I don't think people have to be personally racist to enable a racist system. And the same could even be said of the Southern Democrats. I don't believe Sharice is a racist person, but her votes are showing her to enable a racist system," Chakrabarti wrote in a now-deleted Tweet.

Days later, the House Democrats' official account resurfaced the tweet and blasted Charkrabarti.

"Who is this guy and why is he explicitly singling out a Native American woman of color?" it wrote in a tweet.

The conflict came to the forefront after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) pushed through a border aid bill despite protests from the more progressive members of her caucus. In an interview with The New York Times, Pelosi criticized Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.).

"All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world," she said. "But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got."

Tlaib pushed back in a later interview, saying, "It is very disappointing that the Speaker would ever try to diminish our voices in so many ways."

Ocasio-Cortez also responded, suggesting that Pelosi's criticism was motivated by racism before walking back that claim back.

"But the persistent singling out … it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful … the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color," she told the Washington Post. She later denied accusing Pelosi of being racist, saying "That's stupidly untrue" when asked if she was playing the race card.