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Congresswoman Alexandria Oscasio-Cortez is never one to shy away from explaining how she really feels, and that was certainly the case Sunday morning when she sat down for an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. The pair addressed Saturday’s fire alarm controversy with Rep. Jamaal Bowman, and Ocasio-Cortez had harsh words for the Republicans who immediately condemned her colleague but failed to do the same for Rep. George Santos.
“Give me a break,” she told Tapper. “The idea that there is somehow any kind of equivalence to someone who is actively trying to clear up a situation that he himself admits, he’s embarrassed, he released a statement last night, he apologized … is absolutely humiliating to a Republican caucus.”
Tapper made it clear that he remains confused by Bowman’s actions and the excuses that followed. A spokesperson for the congressman has said that Bowman believed pulling the alarm would open the locked door to his right.
Ocasio-Cortez explained that “there’s something to be said” about the circumstances under which Bowman pulled the alarm: “The government’s about to be shut down, there’s a vote clock that’s going down, the exits that are normally open in that building were suddenly closed.”
She also pointed out that Bowman, the House administration committee and the police are all “active, and he’s fully participating in saying there was a misunderstanding.”
But for Ocasio-Cortez, Bowman’s actions aren’t the real issue — it’s the Republican response and that many “immediately moved to file motions to censure, motions to expel, before there has even been conversations that are finished to even see if there was a misunderstanding here.”
“But what they did do, while they did that, what they did not do was to commit to the same when George Santos was actually found guilty after a thorough investigation of 13 federal charges,” she continued, referring to the controversial Republican congressman. “He’s indicted on everything from wire fraud to actual lying of House investigators, and they have been buddying up and giggling with him on the House floor, and they are protecting someone who has lied to the American people.”
The pair also discussed the potential ousting of Speaker McCarthy, a move that Ocasio-Cortez wholeheartedly supports. When asked how she would vote if given the opportunity to replace McCarthy, Ocasio-Cortez explained, “I do not intend to vote for a Republican speaker of the House, but I believe it’s up to the Republican conference to determine their own leadership and deal with their own problems.”
“It’s not up to Democrats to save Republicans from themselves,” she added.
But when asked if she would vote to vacate the speaker position to remove McCarthy, Ocasio-Cortez was clear: “Would I cast that vote? Absolutely.”
Watch the entire interview between Jake Tapper and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the video above.