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

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Pelosi: Dems may get to impeachment, but 'we're not there yet' Maxine Waters is the Wall Street sheriff the people deserve MORE (D-N.Y.) said Monday that outgoing White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE owes Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonJuan Williams: Racial shifts spark fury in Trump and his base Dem behind impeachment push to boycott State of the Union Democrats seek to take on Trump at State of the Union 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 LeeProgressives threaten to derail major Dem spending proposal Speaker in waiting? Rapid rise of Hakeem Jeffries fuels talk Congress should look into its own taxes and travel, not just Trump's MORE (D-Calif.), who said she hoped Kelly would offer Wilson a "long overdue" apology.

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Wilson and Kelly feuded last year after the lawmaker said she overheard a conversation between President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 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.