White House counselor Kellyanne Conway slammed incoming congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” for spewing “nonsense.” Ocasio-Cortez had accused departing White House Chief of Staff John Kelly of “cowardice” because he refused to apologize to Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.).
After months of media speculation and predictions regarding Kelly’s longevity in the White House, President Donald Trump announced Saturday that Kelly would be leaving his post at the beginning of January.
Trump expects to announce a successor in the coming weeks.
Kelly has served as Trump’s chief of staff since July 2017.
Ocasio-Cortez (pictured above left) targeted Kelly on Twitter on Monday over a controversy from October 2017.
Wilson, a Florida Democrat, said Monday that Kelly never apologized to her for accusations he made in October 2017; he had accused her of inappropriately taking credit for an FBI building constructed in Florida in 2015.
Wilson refuted the claim by pointing to a video of her speech at the building’s opening.
But Kelly never apologized to her.
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Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “John Kelly was straight up exposed for lying about @RepWilson in comments aimed at discrediting her. He absolutely owes her an apology, and his refusal to do so isn’t a sign of strength — it’s cowardice.”
John Kelly was straight up exposed for lying about @RepWilson in comments aimed at discrediting her.
He absolutely owes her an apology, and his refusal to do so isn’t a sign of strength – it’s cowardice. https://t.co/BA40Hgofvk
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 10, 2018
Ocasio-Cortez pulled off a stunning primary upset victory this summer against 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), the heavily funded 56-year-old chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.
She easily won the general election on November 6, and at age 29 she will be the youngest congresswoman in U.S. history when a new session of Congress begins on January 3.
She previously worked as a campaign organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Conway (above right) harshly rebuked the incoming lawmaker for her accusation of “cowardice” against Kelly, a retired four-star general.
“[Kelly] is in his fifth decade of public service and this country owes him a debt of gratitude, not the nonsense that’s been spewed about him even recently from the Left and from this 29-year-old congresswoman, who doesn’t seem to know much about anything, when you ask her basic concepts about the economy, the Middle East, military funding — really embarrassing,” Conway said.
Ocasio-Cortez has made many well-documented gaffes, including a particularly embarrassing one in which she didn’t know the three branches of government.
“And for her to even use a slur against him yesterday — and I won’t repeat the name of the slur — but let me stand up for General John Kelly. He’s done a magnificent job for this country for almost 50 years and that includes here at the White House as our chief of staff for about a year-and-a-half,” Conway continued.
“Before that, [he was] secretary of Homeland Security from day one of this administration and before that a four-star general and a Gold Star dad, and we all owe him debt of gratitude.”
Kelly’s son, a Marine, was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010, thus making Kelly the highest ranking U.S. military officer to lose a child in Afghanistan or Iraq, The New York Times has noted.
Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t the only person to receive pushback for her criticism of Kelly on Tuesday.
“Some things … precede politics, and losing a son and being part of a Gold Star family is one of those things.”
ABC News’ “The View” co-host Meghan McCain called out colleague Sunny Hostin, after she trashed Kelly on the air because he “disparaged a congresswoman, lied about her and then refused to apologize.”
“I think it’s weird to be clapping,” McCain said after the audience applauded Hostin’s criticism of Kelly. “Whatever you think about his politics, he lost his son in combat for freedom, and clapping in that way, again, your call: Everyone can interpret him differently.”
“Some things … precede politics, and losing a son and being part of a Gold Star family is one of those things,” McCain added.
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