/Trump comes to Pelosis defense, calls Ocasio-Cortez criticism a disgrace

Trump comes to Pelosis defense, calls Ocasio-Cortez criticism a disgrace

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump suggested Speaker Nancy Pelosi should quash criticism from her caucus. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

President Donald Trump on Friday came to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s defense, saying freshman progressives such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are being “disrespectful” for insinuating she’s singling them out because they’re “women of color.”

The clash of wills between House Democratic leaders and the caucus’ progressive wing emerged two weeks ago over a border funding package that rankled House progressives, who claimed the bill did not do enough to protect migrants.

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Tensions increased this week, with Pelosi chastising progressives over their public criticism of Democratic colleagues. Ocasio-Cortez, in response, accused the speaker of “singling out” women of color. She later said she does not believe Pelosi is racist.

“I’ll tell you something about Nancy Pelosi that you know better than I do,” Trump told reporters outside the White House. “She is not a racist. For them to call her a racist is a disgrace.”

Trump said he’s had to deal with Pelosi often — “we go back and forth, and it’s fine,” he said — and suggested the speaker should quash the criticism from within her caucus, telling reporters that Pelosi cannot “let that go on.”

The president has long had a tense relationship with Pelosi, and it further deteriorated last month when she accused him of having “engaged in a cover-up.” The remark led Trump to storm out of a White House meeting with Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other top Democrats over a proposed $2 trillion infrastructure package.

On Friday, Trump said Ocasio-Cortez was not well-liked by online retail giant Amazon for pushing the company and “thousands and thousands of jobs” out of its planned expansion in the Long Island City neighborhood of New York.

The president also targeted Omar the focus of frequent, and sometimes inaccurate, criticism from conservatives: “If one-half of the things that they are saying about her are true, she shouldn’t even be in office.”

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