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Ocasio-Cortez pushes back on McConnell's claim of 'modern-day McCarthyism'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSimmering Democratic tensions show signs of boiling over Out-of-touch Democrats running scared of progressives Progressives rally behind Omar while accusing her critics of bias MORE (D-N.Y.) blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWhy the Democrats need Joe Manchin Out-of-touch Democrats running scared of progressives The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Bipartisan group reaches infrastructure deal; many questions remain MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday for comparing attacks against him to “modern-day McCarthyism.”

“McCarthyism is the practice of baselessly accusing political opponents of being communists as unjust grounds for targeting & harassment,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “You are blocking action to protect US elections despite official DoJ pleas. That doesn’t make you a communist. It just makes you a bad leader.” 

Ocasio-Cortez’s comments come after McConnell blocked attempts by Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDOJ to probe Trump-era subpoenas of lawmaker records Democrats demand Barr, Sessions testify on Apple data subpoenas Out-of-touch Democrats running scared of progressives MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to pass election security bills last week, despite former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s warning that foreign interference was likely to take place in the 2020 elections.

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McConnell, who argued that Democrats were trying to give themselves a "political benefit” with the bills,  quickly faced widespread backlash for his objections, prompting him to say his critics — specifically pointing out The Washington Post and MSNBC — were using “unhinged smears."

“Modern-day McCarthyism is poison for American democracy,” McConnell tweeted Monday. “It is shameful to imply that policy disagreements make the other side unpatriotic. The people who push such unhinged smears are doing Putin’s destabilizing work for him.”

“I was called unpatriotic, un-American and essentially treasonous by a couple of left-wing pundits on the basis of bold-faced lies. I was accused of aiding and abetting the very man I’ve singled out as an adversary and opposed for nearly 20 years, Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinPutin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden, Macron huddle on sidelines of G7 summit Biden must up the ante to get what he wants from Putin MORE,” McConnell said during a fiery speech from the Senate floor.