House Democratic Caucus rebukes Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff

The House Democratic Caucus issued a rebuke of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocrat launches primary challenge to Ocasio-Cortez Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Washington Times after story on her 'high-dollar hairdo' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — House Dems subpoena Giuliani associates MORE’s (D-N.Y.) chief of staff Friday evening amid a public spat between House leadership and a small group of progressive members.

The caucus hammered Saikat Chakrabarti for comments he made going after Rep. Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsHere are the Democrats who aren't co-sponsoring an assault weapons ban Centrist House Democrats press for committees to follow pay-go rule Ocasio-Cortez chief of staff to leave her office MORE (D-Kan.), who is Native American. Chakrabarti said in the quoted tweet that Davids had taken votes that “enable a racist system.”

“Who is this guy and why is he explicitly singling out a Native American woman of color? Her name is Congresswoman Davids, not Sharice. She is a phenomenal new member who flipped a red seat blue. KeepHerNameOutOfYourMouth,” the House Democratic Caucus tweeted Friday evening.

Chakrabarti pushed back, calling Davids a friend and emphasizing that his previous tweets were aimed at calling out a "terrible border funding bill that 90+ Dems opposed," saying it "gave Trump a blank check to continue caging people in horrendous conditions."

"Our Democracy is literally falling apart. I'm not interested in substance-less Twitter spats," he added.

Justice Democrats, a prominent progressive group that supported Ocasio-Cortez’s long-shot congressional bid last year and gained national renown after her victory, also fired back at the caucus, noting that Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhy calls for impeachment have become commonplace The Constitution doesn't require a vote to start the impeachment process Louisiana voters head to the polls in governor's race as Trump urges GOP support MORE (D-Calif.) urged members this week to not tweet their grievances against other colleagues.

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The feuding began when Chakrabarti, in a now-deleted tweet, described centrist Democrats last month as "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."

Pelosi on Thursday said the tweet offended a number of Democrats and scolded her party at a closed-door meeting this week. 

“So, again, you got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it. But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just OK,” she said, according to a source in the room.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Ocasio-Cortez then accused Pelosi of singling out women of color for criticism, seeming to reference the group of four outspoken progressive congresswomen, including Ocasio-Cortez, known as “the squad.”

Pelosi said at a press briefing the next day that the closed-door meeting was called after members took offense to Chakrabarti’s tweet but appeared intent on preventing the infighting from escalating.

"I'm not going to be discussing it any further," Pelosi said. "I said what I'm going to say."

The public feud has deepened the rifts among House Democrats between centrists and progressives and between freshmen and leadership, with some worrying that the disputes could hinder unity on key pieces of legislation.

"I don't really want to get into this back-and-forth. I would hope it would stop," House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHillicon Valley: Google, Reddit to testify on tech industry protections | Trump joins Amazon-owned Twitch | House to vote on bill to combat foreign interference Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Judge blocks Trump 'public charge' rule | Appeals court skeptical of Trump arguments for Medicaid work requirements | CDC offers guidance for treating vaping-related cases House to vote this month on legislation to combat foreign interference in elections MORE (D-Md.) told reporters on Thursday.