Biden knocks Trump on tweets about 'smart as hell' Ocasio-Cortez

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGOP report on COVID-19 origins homes in on lab leak theory READ: The .2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Senators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session MORE in a Tuesday interview praised the four progressive congresswomen told to go back to their home countries by President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Gosar's siblings pen op-ed urging for his resignation: 'You are immune to shame' Sunday shows - Delta variant, infrastructure dominate MORE, calling his remarks "shameful."

Biden singled out Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez: 'More than enough' votes to prevent infrastructure from passing without reconciliation bill Manchin: 'I can't really guarantee anybody' reconciliation package will pass Sunday shows - Delta variant, infrastructure dominate MORE (D-N.Y.) for praise in the interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” stating that she in particular is “smart as hell.”

Trump's tweets were "not only shameful, but it's incredibly damaging," Biden told MSNBC’s Mika BrzezinskiMika Emilie BrzezinskiKasie Hunt headed to CNN after NBC departure: report Is DeSantis the new Reagan? Harris shares advice for women she mentors MORE.

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"We have led the world by the power of our example, and what presidents say, they're the face of America, like it or not," he added. "The idea that Trump says and does the things he does is despicable." 

“I think the freshmen, particularly AOC, is smart as hell,” Biden said. Ocasio-Cortez, he added, is “really a value added to the party in terms of her pushing the edges.”

Biden also defended Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiManchin on reported boos at Democratic luncheon: 'I heard a lot of nos' Kinzinger supports Jan. 6 panel subpoenas for Republicans, including McCarthy Ocasio-Cortez: Democrats can't blame GOP for end of eviction moratorium MORE (D-Calif.), who, prior to the Trump tweets, had been in a public fight with the four congresswomen after dismissing Ocasio-Cortez and Reps. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyProgressives camp outside Capitol to protest evictions Pelosi disputes Biden's power to forgive student loans On The Money: Schumer, Warren call on Biden to extend student loan pause | IMF estimates 6 percent global growth this year MORE (D-Mass.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators House passes spending bill to boost Capitol Police and Hill staffer pay Omar reflects on personal experiences with hate in making case for new envoy MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarProgressives camp outside Capitol to protest evictions Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia US launches second Somalia strike in week MORE (D-Minn.) in an interview with The New York Times as only representing four votes.

Pelosi was also angered by a tweet criticizing centrist Democrats sent by Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff, telling lawmakers at a closed-door caucus meeting last week to keep their disputes private and not to attack one another.

“Nancy knows what she’s doing,” Biden said. “Nancy understands that ... you know, there’s a sum total in the Congress of 535 folks. You have to get them all moving in the right direction.”

Asked what advice he would offer Ocasio-Cortez, Biden responded, “I would not presume to give her advice,” adding, “AOC is brilliant, the other three women are really smart.”

Pelosi dismissed "the squad,” as they are often referred to, after they were the only representatives to vote against a Trump-backed border aid bill, telling Maureen Dowd, “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they didn’t have any following.”

Ocasio-Cortez fired back, accusing Pelosi of singling out women of color, which in turn prompted a rebuke from members of the Congressional Black Caucus aligned with the Speaker.

However, the divisions among the caucus have largely been dropped since Trump’s Sunday tweets telling the four congresswomen, all of whom are American citizens and three of whom were born in the U.S., to “go back” to other countries.

Pelosi has announced she will introduce a resolution in the House condemning the remarks.