Democratic lawmaker unloads on Ocasio-Cortez, chief of staff for 'using the race card'

Rep. Wm. Lacy ClayWilliam (Lacy) Lacy ClayBlack Lives Matter activist Cori Bush on running for Congress: 'We have to have progressive change' GOP House candidate publishes 23-page report claiming George Floyd death was deepfake video Calls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress MORE (D-Mo.) unloaded on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMan raises over 0K to purchase and donate Goya products after calls for boycott Huckabee rips Ocasio-Cortez over 'astonishing' remarks about uptick in NYC crime Black voters: We need all of them MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday for "using the race card” after Ocasio-Cortez accused Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi70 progressive groups call for next Foreign Affairs chair to reflect 'progressive realism' House to vote next week on ridding Capitol of Confederate statues Eye on gavel, Wasserman Schultz proposes panel on racial inequality in spending MORE (D-Calif.) of being racially insensitive.

Clay, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, fumed at Ocasio-Cortez and the group of progressive lawmakers that includes Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocrats see victory in Trump culture war The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Progressive lawmakers call for conditions on Israel aid MORE (Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarAnalysis: 23 million families could face eviction by October due to pandemic Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue MORE (Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Progressives zero in on another House chairman in primary MORE (Mass.).

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“What a weak argument, because you can’t get your way and because you’re getting pushback you resort to using the race card? Unbelievable. That’s unbelievable to me,” Clay said. “I could care less. I could really care less. I agree with the Speaker. Four people, four votes out of 240 people, who cares.”

In an interview with The Washington Post on Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez accused Pelosi of singling out newly elected women of color.

Pelosi had previously been dismissive of the four freshman female lawmakers, saying that despite their large presence on social media, they only account for four votes in the Democratic caucus.

“It shows you how weak their argument is when they have to resort and direct racist accusations toward Speaker Pelosi … it’s very disappointing to me,” Clay said.

The Missouri Democrat also described Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti and the progressive group Justice Democrats as “juvenile” and “ignorant.”

The Justice Democrats have endorsed a progressive primary challenger against Clay and other centrist Democrats. Chakrabarti last week sent out a tweet comparing centrist Democrats to "new Southern Democrats" that "certainly seem hell bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s."

“It shows you how ignorant and little history [Chakrabarti] knows, how ignorant he is to American history. How dare he,” Clay said.

“They’re missing the fact that we have a very thin margin of a majority that we’re operating under and apparently it doesn’t matter to Justice Democrats, they just want to get skins. They want to score points for whatever reason. But I find it juvenile, their tactics, I find their ignorance to be beyond belief about American history and about who are really segregationists. And so how dare they try to play the race card at this point, it shows you the weakness of their arguments.”