Ocasio-Cortez Blasts Former Chief of Staff for ‘Divisive’ Comments

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti (Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said past comments from her former chief of staff were “divisive” during an interview Wednesday.

“I think it was divisive. I believe in criticizing stances, but I don’t believe in specifically targeting members,” Ocasio-Cortez said of Saikat Chakrabarti during an interview with the New York Daily News.

Her comments come after Chakrabarti resigned following his public criticism of moderate Democrats last month as they argued over policy with the more progressive members of the party.

In one instance, Chakrabarti described centrist Democrats as “new Southern Democrats” for blocking a liberal-backed emergency border bill, Fox News reported.

They “certainly seem hell bent [sic] to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s,” the now-deleted tweet read.

Ocasio-Cortez said after he wrote it, her office had a conversation and Chakrabarti immediately took the tweet down.

Following his resignation on August 2, federal officials are now probing Chakrabarti for possible campaign finance wrongdoing.

The two political action committees being investigated are the Brand New Congress and the Justice Democrats, both of which were created by Chakrabarti to aid progressive candidates all over the country.

“But they funneled more than $1 million in political donations into two private companies that Chakrabarti also incorporated and controlled, according to Federal Election Commission filings and a complaint filed in March with the regulatory agency,” the New York Post reported.

On August 4, Breitbart News reported that Chakrabarti would move on to work with New Consensus, a nonprofit group seeking to bolster the Green New Deal.

However, Chakrabarti reportedly admitted on July 10 that the Green New Deal was not originally about climate change.

“Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” he said. “Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

When the Green New Deal was released in February, Joel B. Pollak of Breitbart News called it “pure socialism,” adding that it was “a document worthy of a 19th-century communist manifesto.”

“It presents claims unsupported by scientific evidence; makes demands for every benefit imaginable; and has no idea how to build or pay for any of it,” he concluded.

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