Ocasio-Cortez: 'I was stopped because it was assumed I was an intern'

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday said she was mistaken for a congressional intern and spouse on separate occasions this week during new member orientation. 

Ocasio-Cortez, who some consider a rising progressive star in the Democratic Party, is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at 29 years old.


"People keep giving me directions to the spouse and intern events instead of the ones for members of Congress," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. 

Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikHillicon Valley: Lawmakers seek 'time out' on facial recognition tech | DHS asks cybersecurity staff to volunteer for border help | Judge rules Qualcomm broke antitrust law | Bill calls for 5G national security strategy Bipartisan House bill calls for strategy to protect 5G networks from foreign threats Here are the eight Republicans who voted with Democrats on the Equality Act MORE (R-N.Y.), the youngest GOP woman ever elected to Congress, responded to Ocasio-Cortez saying, "I remember this well." Stefanik was first elected to Congress at 30 years old.

"Best advice is to kindly smile, point to your pin, and excitedly say 'Nope. I’m a Member - the youngest one!'" Stefanik tweeted. 

"My experience is that people & esp the US Capitol Police are proud to meet young, new Members," she added. "They have a tough job & are amazing public servants."

Ocasio-Cortez established herself as an incoming member to watch out for when she toppled incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in an upset primary win over the summer. She is one of several young, progressive women of color to win their elections this midterm cycle. 

When GOP operative Arthur Schwartz on Twitter pointed out that there were "no intern events" on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez shot back she was stopped because "it was assumed I was an intern/staffer." 

"Next time try believing women + people of color when they talk about their experiences being a woman or person of color," she tweeted to Schwartz. 

Other members of Congress have also previously admitted they used to be confused for Capitol Hill interns, including Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) and Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.)