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

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWhat the coronavirus reveals about the race grievance industry Democrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus Overnight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims MORE (D-N.Y.) said Monday that outgoing White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE owes Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonHere are the lawmakers who have self-quarantined as a precaution Biden rise calms Democratic jitters Democrats tear into Trump's speech: It was a 'MAGA rally' 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 LeeCBS All Access launches animated 'Tooning Out the News' series Bill banning menthol in cigarettes divides Democrats, with some seeing racial bias Democrats spar with DeVos at hearing, say Trump budget would 'privatize education' 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 TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report 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.