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

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants History in the House: Congress weathers unprecedented week EU official in Canada says he feels 'at home' there because no one was shouting 'send him back' MORE (R-Calif.) on Wednesday blasted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezIllinois GOP group shares, then deletes meme labeling minority congresswomen 'Jihad Squad' Trump's calculated climate of fear Two Democrats vow to press forward on Trump impeachment 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 CheneyLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Liz Cheney calls Ayanna Pressley's comments at Netroots Nation 'racist' Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei 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.