Ocasio-Cortez chief of staff to leave her office

“Saikat has decided to leave the office of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to work with New Consensus to further develop plans for a Green New Deal,” Ocasio-Cortez communications director Corbin Trent told The Intercept in a statement. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“We are extraordinarily grateful for his service to advance a bold agenda and improve the lives of the people in NY-14. From his co-founding of Justice Democrats to his work on the Ocasio-Cortez campaign and in the official office, Saikat’s goal has always been to do whatever he can to help the larger progressive movement, and we look forward to continuing working with him to do just that,” Trent said.

Rumors of Chakrabarti’s exit had circulated around Capitol Hill in recent days, with multiple Democratic sources saying he was not expected to return to Ocasio-Cortez's office after the recess.

Chakrabarti sparked outrage from members of the Democratic caucus last month after he tweeted messages attacking centrist Democrats, insinuated that Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video Trump says he's considering executive action to suspend evictions, payroll tax Trump won't say if he disagrees with Birx that virus is widespread MORE (D-Calif.) is an ineffective leader and suggesting Native American lawmaker Rep. Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsDemocrats go big on diversity with new House recruits The Hill's Coronavirus Report: INOVIO R&D Chief Kate Broderick 'completely confident' world will develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine; GOP boxed in on virus negotiations Native American lawmaker: 'Redskins' name change 'should have been made a long time ago' MORE (D-Kan.) voted “to enable a racist system” by voting in favor of a Senate border aid bill that didn’t include provisions backed by progressives.

Critics argued Chakrabarti’s rhetoric on social media was highlighting divisions within the party, with the House Democratic Caucus responding to his accusations on Twitter. 

“Who is this guy and why is he explicitly singling out a Native American woman of color?” stated a tweet from the House Democratic Caucus account sent last month. The tweet noted Chakrabarti's tweet about Davids and was retweeted by a number of Democratic leadership staffers.

The chief of staff had previously worked at Justice Democrats, a liberal group that has sought to replaces sitting Democratic House members with more liberal candidates. Ocasio-Cortez herself was recruited by the group, and defeated former Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in what was a huge upset. 

The exit follows a meeting between Ocasio-Cortez and Pelosi that took place ahead of the lawmakers flying out for August recess, where the Speaker downplayed divisions between Democratic leadership and the far-left flank of the party. 

Chakrabarti is expected to continue work on advancing the Green New Deal at nonprofit the New Consensus, per The Intercept.

Trent is also leaving Ocasio-Ortez's congressional office to lead communications for her reelection campaign. It's a role he previously served in 2018.

“With the Ocasio 2020 campaign beginning to ramp up, I’ve asked Corbin to transition to the campaign full-time and he has agreed to do so,” Ocasio-Cortez told The Intercept. “I’m looking forward to growing the movement with him in Queens and the Bronx and across the country.