Democratic Caucus: No, We Don't Regret What We Said About AOC's Chief of Staff

Posted: Jul 16, 2019 1:45 PM
Democratic Caucus: No, We Don't Regret What We Said About AOC's Chief of Staff

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) may have caused some chaos in Congress since being sworn in, but lately she's been upstaged by her chief of staff. Saikat Chakrabati is making enemies of establishment Democrats, not least of which is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He and other progressives have lashed out in recent days over Pelosi's decision to vote in favor of a Republican-led border funding bill. In his most incendiary message for the "blue dog Caucus," AKA the moderate members of the party, Chakrabati alleged that they were no better than southern racists. He would later delete the message but clarify that those members may still be "enabling a racist system."

Chakrabati and his boss were hardly finished. Ocasio-Cortez would proceed to accuse Pelosi of silencing minority voices in the party. Those remarks got under the skin of veteran Democrats like Rep. William Lacy Clay (MO), who basically told AOC and Chakrabati to grow up.

"It was such a weak argument to say she was being picked on and that four women of color were being picked on by the Speaker," he said. "It tells you the level of ignorance to American history on their part as to what we are as the Democratic Caucus."

None of this fazed Chakrabati. He went on to challenge other Democrats, like Rep. Sharice Davids (KS), for voting for the border bill without considering some progressive amendments. That's about when the House Democratic Caucus really got peeved.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries defended the group's tweet on Tuesday, noting that "it speaks for itself." He did not, however, go so far as to say AOC should fire her chief of staff. The chairman gave a more political answer and simply said he has "great respect" for every single member of the caucus.

Chakrabati insists it was a misunderstanding.

"Everything I tweeted 2 weeks ago was to call out the terrible border funding bill that 90+ Dems opposed," he continued. "It gave Trump a blank check to continue caging people in horrendous conditions. Our Democracy is literally falling apart. I'm not interested in substance-less Twitter spats."

He could have fooled us!