Ocasio-Cortez: John Kelly is a coward for refusing to apologize to Dem lawmaker

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez among progressives joining House Oversight: report On The Money: Shutdown Day 32 | Senate to vote on dueling funding measures | GOP looks to change narrative | Dems press Trump on recalled workers | Kudlow predicts economy will 'snap back' after shutdown Why Ocasio-Cortez should make flood insurance reform a priority MORE (D-N.Y.) said Monday that outgoing White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE owes Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonFlorida Dem lawmaker praises retiring GOP colleague: I will 'truly miss' her Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Conway: She has 'engaged in a War on Facts since Inauguration Day' Frederica Wilson: I never got an apology from John Kelly MORE (D-Fla.) an apology for critical comments about her before he leaves his job.

"John Kelly was straight up exposed for lying about @RepWilson in comments aimed at discrediting her," Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. "He absolutely owes her an apology, and his refusal to do so isn’t a sign of strength — it’s cowardice."

The incoming lawmaker was echoing Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeOregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds Democrats vow to lift ban on federal funds for abortions Live coverage: House elects new Speaker as Dems take charge MORE (D-Calif.), who said she hoped Kelly would offer Wilson a "long overdue" apology.

ADVERTISEMENT

Wilson and Kelly feuded last year after the lawmaker said she overheard a conversation between President TrumpDonald John TrumpCoast Guard chief: 'Unacceptable' that service members must rely on food pantries, donations amid shutdown Dem lawmaker apologizes after saying it's never been legal in US to force people to work for free Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing MORE and the widow of a U.S. soldier killed during a mission in Niger.

Wilson said Trump told the widow during the call that her late husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, "knew what he was getting into."

Trump attacked Wilson as "wacky" and denied making the remarks, while Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, chastised Wilson for listening in on the conversation.

"I would have thought that was sacred," he said.

Kelly also called Wilson an "empty barrel" and suggested she inappropriately took credit for securing millions of dollars in funding for the FBI field office in Miami.

Video later showed that Wilson had not boasted about securing the funding. 

She later demanded an apology from Kelly, but he stood by his comments.

Trump announced over the weekend that Kelly would leave as chief of staff by the end of the year. The two had a fraught relationship marked by reports of Kelly's imminent ouster.

Kelly has served in the Trump administration from the start, first as secretary of Homeland Security and then as Trump's second chief of staff.