WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi downplayed reported disputes she has had with freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“I don’t think there ever was any hatchet,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in response to a question at a news conference on Friday that took place shortly after she met behind closed-doors with the 29-year-old New York congresswoman.
Pelosi went on to say: “We are the Democratic Party…In our caucus, we have our differences. Respect that instead of making a big issue of it. We sat down today, we had a good meeting.”
Pelosi went on to describe AOC as “a very gracious member of Congress” and said the two engaged in a “very positive conversation.”
AOC spoke to reporters on Capitol Hill after the meeting and echoed similar sentiments.
“I’m looking forward to us continuing our work,” she said. “As always, I think the speaker respects that we’re coming together as a party and that unity, and I’m looking forward to us getting back in September.”
Pelosi later tweeted a photo of she and AOC at the meeting.
Today, Congresswoman @RepAOC and I sat down to discuss working together to meet the needs of our districts and our country, fairness in our economy and diversity in our country. pic.twitter.com/eVp1LS0Gpw
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 26, 2019
AOC and fellow freshman Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) have vocally challenged Democratic leaders since coming to Washington in January. They group is often referred to in media reports as “The Squad.”
The congresswomen are outspoken opponents of President Donald Trump and have called for his impeachment. Pelosi has eschewed talk of impeachment, saying the committees investigating the president have more work to do before they are able to go down that road. Almost 100 House Democrats have called for impeachment proceedings to begin.
A feud between Pelosi and AOC broke out earlier this month after Pelosi dismissed the Squad’s influence in an interview with The New York Times. That in turn led AOC to accuse of Pelosi in a Washington Post interview of “singling out of newly elected women of color.”
However, the infighting soon became mute after Trump tweeted that the four congresswomen hate America and should return to their countries of origin.
Omar, who is black, is a naturalized citizen who was born in Somalia and came to the U.S. as a teen. Tlaib is of Palestinian descent and was born in Detroit. Pressley is African-American; she was born in Cincinnati and reared in Chicago. Ocasio-Cortez is of Puerto Rican descent and was born in the Bronx. Tlaib and Omar are the first Muslim women ever elected to Congress.
On July 16, the House passed a resolution that condemned Trump’s remarks.