Ocasio-Cortez defends banning press from event: We wanted ‘residents to feel safe’

Ocasio-Cortez defends banning press from event: We wanted ‘residents to feel safe’
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Democratic congressional Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended banning press from a public town hall this week, saying the move was meant to protect residents of vulnerable communities.

Ocasio-Cortez on Friday responded to a tweet from Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim, who wrote that the candidate “is in for a rough time on Capitol Hill -- where reporters roam freely at all hours of the day and night -- if this is her attitude toward the press.”

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The reporter also tweeted that the campaign should have made the event private, rather than making it public and stopping the press from attending. 

 

Ocasio-Cortez wrote in her response that many people in her district are immigrants, and some are survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking or have “personal medical issues.” 

“This town hall was designed for residents to feel safe discussing sensitive issues in a threatening political time,” the candidate tweeted. “We indicated previously that it would be closed to press.”

The event, which took place Sunday in the Queens borough of New York City, was open to the public but not the media.

Ocasio-Cortez's spokesman said the decision to ban press was an "outlier" for the candidate.

The Democratic candidate reiterated her argument in a tweet later Friday about the “town hall non-story.” 

“It was designed to protect + invite vulnerable populations to PUBLIC discourse: immigrants, victims of domestic abuse, and so on,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, noting that future events will be open to the press.

Ocasio-Cortez, a democratic socialist, knocked top Democrat and incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y) out of the primary for his district earlier this year in an upset victory.

She has since emerged a high-profile figure for progressive issues, and has traveled around the country to campaign for other progressive candidates.