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Pressley: Democrats don't need 'any more black faces that don't want to be a black voice'

Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyBelfast's Troubles echo in today's Washington Federal government carries out 13th and final execution under Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history MORE (D-Mass.) reportedly said Democrats don't need "any more black faces that don't want to be a black voice" during a liberal Netroots Nation conference on Saturday, a comment that comes as racial politics threaten to divide the party.

The Washington Post reports Pressley said she's not interested in bringing "a chair to an old table." 

“This is the time to shake that table. ... We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice,” Pressley reportedly said during the event. “We don’t need any more black faces that don’t want to be a black voice.”

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Pressley's spokeswoman, Lina Francis, told the Post the congresswoman was making the point that “diversity at the table doesn’t matter if there’s not real diversity in policy.” The Hill has reached out to Pressley's office. 

Pressley's comments followed a tumultuous week of Democratic infighting, as establishment Democrats continue to clash with a new wave of elected progressives in the party. 

Pressley and fellow freshman Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez says lawmakers fear colleagues sneaking firearms on House floor Ocasio-Cortez spent inauguration evening supporting striking workers in New York Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs Overnight Energy: EPA rule exempts many polluting industries from future air regulations | Ex-Michigan governor to be charged over Flint water crisis: report | Officials ousted from White House after papers casting doubt on climate science Ex-Michigan governor to be charged over Flint water crisis: report MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDemocrats poised to impeach Trump again Pence opposes removing Trump under 25th Amendment: reports Pelosi vows to impeach Trump again — if Pence doesn't remove him first MORE (D-Minn.) clashed with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDivide and conquer or unite and prosper Trump impeachment article being sent to Senate Monday Roe is not enough: Why Black women want an end to the Hyde Amendment MORE (D-Calif.) after the four progressives did not vote for a border aid package last month when Pelosi put forward a Senate-approved bill. 

Pelosi told The New York Times’s Maureen Dowd that the congresswomen "have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got."

Ocasio-Cortez then called out Pelosi for "the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color," though she said she does not think Pelosi is racist. 

Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, also came under attack in a Twitter feud last week after he said Rep. Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsBiden: Federal government 'has long-broken promises to Native American tribes' Overnight Energy: Biden makes historic pick with Haaland for Interior | Biden set to tap North Carolina official to lead EPA | Gina McCarthy forges new path as White House climate lead Biden makes historic pick with Haaland for Interior secretary MORE (D-Kan.), who is Native American, has taken votes that "enable a racist system." 

The House Democratic Caucus tweeted back that Davids is a "phenomenal new member who flipped a red seat blue." 

Chakrabarti pushed back on the caucus, saying Davids is a friend and his tweet was aimed at the "terrible border funding bill that 90+ Dems opposed." 

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), aligned with Pelosi, is also furious with the progressive group Justice Democrats for backing challengers to incumbent lawmakers of color, especially African Americans. 

Justice Democrats backed Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez in their successful bids to oust powerful, long-term Democratic incumbents. 

The group is backing primary challengers to eight-term Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a Hispanic Caucus member, and 10-term Rep. Wm. Lacy ClayWilliam (Lacy) Lacy ClayCori Bush dismisses concerns of being 'co-opted' by establishment Rep. Bush calls Trump a 'white supremacist president' on House floor Democrats introduce legislation to strike slavery exception in 13th Amendment MORE (D-Mo.), a CBC member. 

The group has also floated the idea of finding a primary challenger to House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), a CBC member primed to be Pelosi's successor. 

CBC leaders fear the progressive group may target other black House Democrats in coming weeks.