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

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezGOP senator voices concern about Trump order, hasn't decided whether he'll back it Ocasio-Cortez in Bronx speech: New Yorkers deserve ‘dignified jobs’ Amazon exec invites Ocasio-Cortez to tour facilities after criticism MORE (D-N.Y.) said Monday that outgoing White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE owes Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonDem behind impeachment push to boycott State of the Union Democrats seek to take on Trump at State of the Union Booker reaches out to lawmakers to seek support for 2020 bid 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 LeeKamala Harris shopping trip stirs Twitter campaign trail debate Newsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Hispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president 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 TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job 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.