House GOP leader: Ocasio-Cortez 'needs to apologize not only to the nation but to the world'

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyCollege Republicans launch campaign calling for GOP to take action on climate change Pelosi's whiplash moment brings praise and criticism GOP calls for minority hearing on impeachment, threatens procedural measures MORE (R-Calif.) on Wednesday blasted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezBiden narrowly ahead in Iowa as Sanders surges, Warren drops: poll Democrats reach cusp of impeachment Progressives hopeful for deal with Pelosi to avert showdown on drug prices MORE (D-.N.Y) for her comments this week accusing the Trump administration of operating "concentration camps."

At a press conference, the House GOP leader told reporters that the freshman congresswoman owed the U.S. and the world an apology for comparing detention facilities operated by the Trump administration to Nazi-era concentration camps throughout Europe, where millions of Jews were murdered.

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"I think Congresswoman AOC needs to apologize," McCarthy said, referring to Ocasio-Cortez. "Not only to the nation but to the world. She does not understand history."

"She does not understand what is going on at the border at the same time. But there is no comparison...and to actually say that is really embarrassing," McCarthy added.

"To take something that happened in history where millions of Jews had died, and equate it to somewhere that's happening on the border, she owes this nation an apology," he said.

His remarks followed a charge Tuesday afternoon from the New York lawmaker, who said in an Instagram video that the facilities operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other agencies were "exactly" like concentration camps.

The remark drew fire from Republicans including Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyGOP calls for minority hearing on impeachment, threatens procedural measures Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Stopgap spending bill includes military pay raise | Schumer presses Pentagon to protect impeachment witnesses | US ends civil-nuclear waiver in Iran Cruz, Graham and Cheney call on Trump to end all nuclear waivers for Iran MORE (Wyo.) on Twitter.

But Ocasio-Cortez defended her remarks and has been praised for her remarks by actor George Takei, who was interned by the U.S. government alongside Japanese Americans during World War II.

“The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are," she said Monday night. “If that doesn’t bother you ... I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘never again’ means something."

“The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the ‘Home of the Free’ is extraordinarily disturbing, and we need to do something about it,” Ocasio-Cortez said.