House Dems Anonymously Complain About Defending the ‘Squad’

'I can't tell you the number of Members who are angry and annoyed about them criticizing us'

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib / Getty Images
• July 18, 2019 10:20 am


House Democrats anonymously complained to CNN's Jake Tapper Wednesday about having to defend the "Squad" from President Trump when they feel the quartet aren't returning the favor.

"The President won this one. What the President has done is politically brilliant," one Democrat told Tapper, "Pelosi was trying to marginalize these folks, and the President has now identified the entire party with them." Another Democrat noted that members were upset about having to defend the progressives after the dispute over border funding, saying they argued "we're pro-putting kids in cages, we're against human rights. So there's frustration."

The "Squad", made up of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), were the focus of President Donald Trump's controversial tweets over the weekend. Democrats came to the group's defense, passing a resolution condemning Trump's comments.

"Everybody was completely outraged by what the president said and everybody thought it was appropriate to criticize him but this was the first time the House has taken action to criticize him in any way," a third House Democrat told Tapper, "We couldn't even bring ourselves to have a resolution exclusively condemning anti-Semitism uttered by one of those members but we leapt to their defense here."

That is in reference to Omar's anti-semitic comments, including accusing pro-Israel Americans of dual loyalty. House Democrats were set to pass a resolution condemning her remarks and anti-Semitism in general, but instead passed a general anti-hate resolution after progressives pushed back.

Omar and Tlaib are also pushing a resolution in support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel. Many other House Democrats are opposed to the movement, and the House is poised to vote on an anti-BDS resolution soon.

"So we'll hear a tirade of attacks on Israel from the same group," one Democrat said. "Hopefully they won't be anti-Semitic."

"I can't tell you the number of Members who are angry and annoyed about them criticizing us," that same Democrat said, noting Ocasio-Cortez allows her chief of staff to attack other members of the caucus. Another member said, "We were there for them; they should stop attacking us."