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

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment Trump cites Ocasio-Cortez to defend himself against impeachment MORE (D-N.Y.) said Monday that outgoing White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE owes Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonOvernight Defense: Iran worries dominate foreign policy talk | Pentagon reportedly to send WH plans for 10K troops in Mideast | Democrats warn Trump may push through Saudi arms sale | Lawmakers blast new Pentagon policy on sharing info House Dem: Trump could start war with Iran to thwart impeachment Lawmakers celebrate 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote 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 LeeDems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Democrats set stage for next shutdown fight with wall-free spending bill 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 TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment 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.