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-CortezDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters Moore defends Sanders's reputation: 'We don't want the fake, and the phony and the fraudulent' MORE (D-N.Y.) bashed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer: Trump's team made case for new witnesses 'even stronger' Trump, Democrats risk unintended consequences with impeachment arguments CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group 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 TlaibSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Democrats press Trump administration to stop DNA collection from detained migrants Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive MORE (D-Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (D-Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyThe Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power Pressley says she 'would welcome the opportunity' to educate DeVos after abortion, slavery comparison Massachusetts governor apologizes after calling Pressley speech a 'rant' 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 ChaoMitch McConnell may win the impeachment and lose the Senate Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Facebook deepfake ban falls short | House passes bills to win 5G race | Feds sound alarm on cyberthreat from Iran | Ivanka Trump appearance at tech show sparks backlash Trump administration unveils latest guidelines for autonomous vehicle makers 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.