Trump: Ocasio-Cortez being 'very disrespectful' to Pelosi

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE on Friday criticized Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez tears into Trump's immigration agenda: 'It's about ethnicity and racism' George Takei: US has hit a new low under Trump #IStandWithErica trends after Georgia Democratic lawmaker says she was told to 'go back where you came from' MORE (D-N.Y.) amid a dispute between the freshman congresswoman and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump telling aides to look at potential spending cuts if he wins reelection: report Budget talks between White House, Pelosi spill into weekend Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony MORE (D-Calif.).

The president came to Pelosi's defense when he was asked about the simmering feud as he left the White House for fundraisers in Wisconsin and Ohio.

"I think Cortez is being very disrespectful to somebody who's been there a long time," Trump said, chastising the first-term lawmaker without using her full last name.

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"I deal with Nancy Pelosi a lot and we go back and forth and it’s fine, but I think that a group of people is being very disrespectful to her," he continued. "And you know what, I don’t think that Nancy can let that go on."

Ocasio-Cortez “should treat Nancy Pelosi with respect,” he added.

Ocasio-Cortez expressed frustration with Pelosi after the Speaker gave an interview over the weekend in which she downplayed the significance of four progressive Democrats who bucked party leadership on a border funding vote late last month.

Ocasio-Cortez told The Washington Post on Wednesday that she felt Pelosi was targeting her and three other progressive freshman women of color known as the "squad": Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden compares Trump to George Wallace Padma Lakshmi on Trump's handling of 'send her back' chant: 'It's Charlottesville 2.0' Trump defends response to rally chant: I did not 'lead people on' MORE (Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarBiden compares Trump to George Wallace Padma Lakshmi on Trump's handling of 'send her back' chant: 'It's Charlottesville 2.0' Trump defends response to rally chant: I did not 'lead people on' MORE (Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyBiden compares Trump to George Wallace Padma Lakshmi on Trump's handling of 'send her back' chant: 'It's Charlottesville 2.0' Trump defends response to rally chant: I did not 'lead people on' MORE (Mass.).

She reiterated that stance on Thursday, but clarified that Pelosi is "absolutely not" racist.

Trump seized on the latter point, and backed Pelosi.

"She is not a racist," Trump said. "For them to call her a racist is a disgrace."

The barbs from Ocasio-Cortez have sparked a wave of infighting among Democrats in recent days, with several caucus members rushing to defend the Speaker.

--Updated 10:57 a.m.