President Donald Trump doesn’t care a whit whether or not Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) thinks he is a racist.
He made that clear in dismissive comments right before he flew to New Orleans on Monday to speak to members of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Ever since he first announced his 2016 presidential campaign in June 2015 and spoke of the dangers of illegal immigration, Trump’s critics have accused him of being a racist or of exhibiting racist behavior.
The newly minted congresswoman gave a recent interview to CNN anchor and CBS News correspondent Anderson Cooper on CBS News’ “60 Minutes.” During that interview, Cooper asked Ocasio-Cortez why she didn’t “talk about President Trump very much.”
Ocasio-Cortez replied, “Because I think he’s a symptom of a problem … The president certainly didn’t invent racism. But he’s certainly given a voice to it and expanded it and created a platform for those things.”
When Cooper directly asked her if she believed Trump “is a racist,” she replied, “Yeah. Yeah. No question.”
“How can you say that?” Cooper wanted to know.
Ocasio-Cortez said, “When you look at the words that he uses, which are historic dog whistles of white supremacy. When you look at how he reacted to the Charlottesville incident, where neo-Nazis murdered a woman, versus how he manufactures crises like immigrants seeking legal refuge on our borders, it’s — it’s night and day.”
She was referring to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which white nationalists and neo-Nazis clashed with left-wing counterprotesters. Counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed after a white supremacist rammed his car into a group of people.
Trump fielded bipartisan backlash after he initially condemned the violence “on many sides” without singling out white supremacists and neo-Nazis. After issuing a second statement directly calling out those groups and calling racism “evil,” the president defended his initial statement, insisting during a press conference there “was blame on both sides” for the rally’s violence.
While Trump spoke with reporters on Monday morning outside the White House, one asked him, “Mr. President, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez called you a racist.”
“Who did?” Trump asked.
The reporter replied, “Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez.”
The president waved his hand dismissively, saying, “Who cares? Geez.”
Trump’s refusal to take her seriously apparently irked the newly elected lawmaker.
“I bartended for *years* in New York City. I understand guys like this like the back of my hand. We got under his skin,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
“I’d say we’d be taxing 70 percent of Trump’s income, but he probably hasn’t made more than $10 million in years – and that’s the real reason he’s hiding his taxes.”
I bartended for *years* in New York City. I understand guys like this like the back of my hand.
We got under his skin 😂⬇️ https://t.co/SUXDVVY5tM
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 14, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez recently floated the notion of a 70 percent tax on the wealthy to fund the proposed Green New Deal, of which she’s an advocate.
She became a progressive star last summer after she pulled off a stunning upset primary victory against 10-term former Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), former chair of the House Democratic Caucus. She easily won the general election in the November midterms.
Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress and already has been butting heads with her less progressive Democratic congressional peers.
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