Ocasio-Cortez Chief of Staff Leaving Her Office

Saikat Chakrabarti often attacked moderate Dems

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August 2, 2019

Saikat Chakrabarti, chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), is leaving her office to work at New Consensus, a nonprofit focused exclusively on promoting the Green New Deal.

"Saikat has decided to leave the office of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to work with New Consensus to further develop plans for a Green New Deal," Corbin Trent—who is also leaving her office—said in a statement to The Intercept. "We are extraordinarily grateful for his service to advance a bold agenda and improve the lives of the people in NY-14. From his co-founding of Justice Democrats to his work on the Ocasio-Cortez campaign and in the official office, Saikat’s goal has always been to do whatever he can to help the larger progressive movement, and we look forward to continuing working with him to do just that."

Chakrabarti's last day was Friday. Ocasio-Cortez told The Intercept that she looks forward to "continuing working with him." His departure comes amid an ongoing fight between more traditional House Democrats and the more radical wing of the party, for which Ocasio-Cortez often serves as the spokeswoman.

Throughout his tenure, Chakrabarti drew criticism from Democrats for his behavior in Congress. Rahm Emmanuel, former President Barack Obama's chief of staff, called Chakrabarti a "snot-nosed punk" after Ocasio-Cortez publicly criticized the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.).

The House Democrats's official Twitter account also criticized Chakrabarti after he compared centrist Democrats to the Southern Democrats of the 1950s. Chakrabarti singled out Sharice Davids, a Native-American freshman lawmaker, leading the account to post this now-deleted tweet: "Who is this guy and why is he explicitly singling out a Native American woman of color?"

Chakrabarti also stirred controversy when he wore a t-shirt depicting the face of Nazi collaborator Subhas Chandra Bose in a NowThis video about Ocasio-Cortez.