After she discussed the 2020 election and the possibility of impeachment last weekend, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s words were twisted on Twitter by President Donald Trump, which didn’t sit well with the freshman lawmaker.
On Sunday morning, Ocasio-Cortez appeared on ABC’s This Week where she said she felt that Democrats “have a very real risk of losing the presidency to Donald Trump if we do not have a presidential candidate that is fighting for true transformational change in the lives of working people in the United States.”
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, was referring to nominating someone who fully embraces progressive policies, such as a $15 minimum wage and free public college.
Ocasio-Cortez also discussed the “justifiable” pressure from some Democrats to move forward with an impeachment investigation against Trump, which she felt had only increased after Trump’s recent comments about foreign dirt on his opponents.
“We need to at least open an inquiry so that we can look at what is going on,” Ocasio-Cortez said, pointing to allegations that Trump, 73, illegally obstructed the Russia investigation and has violated a Constitutional ban on doing business with foreign governments while president.
(Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing; Robert Mueller, who investigated his Russia ties, declined to say whether he broke the law.)
Hours after her interview on Sunday, Trump used Ocasio-Cortez’s words to argue his impeachment would be a last-ditch Democratic excuse.
“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. ‘I think we have a very real risk of losing the Presidency to Donald Trump.’ I agree, and that is the only reason they play the impeach card, which cannot be legally used!” he tweeted on Sunday.
Ocasio-Cortez soon responded to him directly.
“Mr. President, you’re from Queens. You may fool the rest of the country, but I’ll call your bluff any day of the week,” she tweeted. “Opening an impeachment inquiry is exactly what we must do when the President obstructs justice, advises witnesses to ignore legal subpoenas, & more. Bye.”
Mr. President, you’re from Queens.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 17, 2019
You may fool the rest of the country, but I’ll call your bluff any day of the week.
Opening an impeachment inquiry is exactly what we must do when the President obstructs justice, advises witnesses to ignore legal subpoenas, & more.
Bye 👋🏽 https://t.co/4O9PNbYFki
During her This Week interview, Ocasio-Cortez said Trump’s refusal to say if he would accept dirt on political rivals from foreign governments was another piece of “evidence” to be used against him.
“I believe that with the president now saying he is willing to break the law to win re-election, that transcends partisanship, it transcends party lines,” she said, “and this is now about the rule of law in the United States of America.”
In an ABC News interview on Sunday, Trump was asked if his campaign would call the FBI if offered dirt in the future.
“I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen, there’s nothing wrong with listening,” he said. “If somebody called from a country, Norway — ‘We have information on your opponent.’ Oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
Though the House of Representatives could impeach Trump, he would be tried by the Republican-held Senate, making conviction unlikely.
“I think that this is about us doing our jobs,” Ocasio-Cortez said on This Week. “And if we’re talking about what’s going to be a victory for Trump and what’s not going to be a victory for Trump then we are politicizing and we are tainting this process, which, again, should be removed from politics.”
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“Impeachment would be a sad thing for our country; it would be very divisive,” she told Elle in an interview published in January.
“I feel serious and strategic about the prospect of impeachment. If we have to do it, we cannot walk away from our responsibilities,” she said. “But it’s not something that I’m stirring the pot on.”
She was equally wary in a CNN interview this week: “I don’t think there’s anything more divisive we can do than to impeach a president of the United States, and so you have to handle it with great care. It has to be about the truth and the facts to take you to whatever decision has to be there.”