Ocasio-Cortez accuses GOP leader of being 'complicit in advancing racism in America'

Ocasio-Cortez accuses GOP leader of being 'complicit in advancing racism in America'
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez brushes off Trump tweet claiming she is 'fuming' over Tlaib, Omar attention Trump finds consistent foil in 'Squad' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE (D-N.Y.) bashed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSocial media never intended to be in the news business — but just wait till AI takes over Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Two-thirds of Americans support assault weapons ban: Fox News poll MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday after he defended President Trump from charges of racism.

The New York Democrat accused McConnell of being "complicit in advancing racism" after he declined to directly condemn tweets from Trump telling Ocasio-Cortez and three other congresswomen to "go back" to foreign countries.

Trump's tweets targeted Ocasio-Cortez and Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTlaib says she won't visit Israel after being treated like 'a criminal' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Israel approves Tlaib request to visit grandmother in West Bank MORE (D-Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTlaib says she won't visit Israel after being treated like 'a criminal' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Israel approves Tlaib request to visit grandmother in West Bank MORE (D-Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleySen. Susan Collins: Israel should allow Omar, Tlaib to visit Ocasio-Cortez: Netanyahu sending message 'only some Americans are welcome to Israel' Pelosi: Israel's Omar-Tlaib decision 'a sign of weakness' MORE (D-Mass.). All of the lawmakers targeted by Trump are U.S. citizens, and all but one were born in the U.S.

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“When you tell American citizens to go back to their country, especially when we are sworn citizens and duly elected by fellow American citizens … that has everything to do with race,” Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News.

“They have targeted four congresswomen of color who are American citizens with a classic line of white supremacy,” she continued. “And they are trying to pivot, and they are trying to excuse it, and frankly the majority leader is complicit in advancing racism in America if he doesn’t even have the backbone to speak out against most basic, basic line.”

McConnell insisted Trump was not a racist when asked about the tweets Tuesday, instead saying that “all different ideological points of view” were guilty of “overheated” rhetoric.

“From the president to the Speaker to freshman members of the House — all of us have the responsibility to elevate the public discourse,” he said.

Asked how he would respond if someone told his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoTrump administration takes step to relax truck driver time regulations New guidance on travel with service animals is a step forward, but more can be done The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller testimony gives Trump a boost as Dems ponder next steps MORE, to go back to Taiwan, where she was born, McConnell said Chao came to the U.S. legally.

Omar, the only target of Trump’s tweet born outside the U.S., also entered the country legally and is a U.S. citizen.

"I think there’s a consensus that political rhetoric has really gotten way, way overheated all across the political spectrum," McConnell said in prepared remarks.

"Lower all this incendiary rhetoric. Everyone should do it," he added in response to a question.