Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said there are “white supremacist sympathizers” at the heart of the new GOP caucus in the House of Representatives and accused House minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy of failing to tackle political extremism among his colleagues.
The New York Representative spoke to MSNBC Wednesday after newly elected GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, who has promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory, was reported to have expressed support for assassinating leading Democrats in social media posts.
“This term there are legitimate white supremacist sympathizers that sit at the heart and at the core of the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives,” Ocasio-Cortez told MSNBC.
Watch Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on ‘white supremacist sympathizers’ in the GOP caucaus
Axios reported Wednesday that Rep. McCarthy plans to speak to Greene about the social media posts, which were reported by CNN and included apparent calls for the execution of senior Democrats as well as conspiracy theories linked to QAnon.
MediaMatters last week reported that Green has also baselessly claimed that the 2018 Parkland school shooting was part of a “false flag operation,” while she last year tried to force Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to re-swear their oaths of office on the Bible instead of the Quran.
But Ocasio-Cortez said that McCarthy’s promise to talk to someone was not a sufficient response to Green’s behavior and said that senior GOP members were implicitly condoning political extremism because it was a “core animating political energy” for the GOP base.
“When I hear that Rep. McCarthy is going to pull a member aside who has made white supremacist-sympathising comments, the thing I think is: What is he going to tell them? Keep it up?” she said.
“Because there are no consequences in the Republican caucus for violence. There’s no consequences for racism. No consequences for misogyny. No consequences for insurrection. And no consequences means that they condone it. It means that that silence is acceptance.”
Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly called for GOP lawmakers including Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to face consequences for helping to incite a violent mob that stormed the Capitol building in Washington, DC, on January 6 to protest the results of the presidential election.
Ocasio-Cortez was in the building during the siege and said she experienced a “very close encounter” where she thought “she was going to die.”
She said last week that a “very considerable amount” of lawmakers “still don’t feel safe yet around other members of Congress” and pointed to the attempts by Republican Rep. Andy Harris to bring a concealed firearm onto the floor of the House last Thursday.