McCarthy: Progressive lawmakers are 'no longer Democrats'

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTlaib says she won't visit Israel after being treated like 'a criminal' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Republicans offer support for Steve King challenger MORE (R-Calif.) railed against the Democratic Party's progressive wing in a new interview, asserting that they are "no longer Democrats."

In an interview with far-right news outlet Breitbart released Saturday, the top House Republican maintained that a certain segment of the Democratic Party wants "socialist" lawmakers to take over.

"You’ve got the House, the Senate, and then you’ve got the executive branch. Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] and the Democrats—to me, they’re no longer Democrats,” McCarthy said.

"They don’t call themselves Democrats. They’re socialist Democrats," he said. "I think this internal fight is where they want that socialist wing to take over. That’s why they can’t come to a consensus."

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Two House Democrats — Reps. 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 (N.Y.) and 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 (Mich.) — won election in November as members of the Democratic Socialists of America. Other lawmakers such as White House hopeful Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Support for Sanders among college students reaches highest level since April The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment MORE (I-Vt.) have described themselves as democratic socialists, and each has pushed progressive agenda items such as "Medicare for All" and the Green New Deal to combat climate change.

McCarthy blasted Ocasio-Cortez's remark last month that she would be open to dissolving the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which was established in 2002. A spokesperson later said that Ocasio-Cortez was floating dissolving DHS as an umbrella agency and reassigning subagencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Coast Guard to other departments. 

"Think about what is in there. That is Secret Service, FEMA, that’s other things. At any other given time, this country would be in an uproar if an elected body said that," McCarthy told Breitbart. "But what’s come to the body today is socialism. That’s the strife what’s inside this past Democratic Party, they’re not what they used to be.”

McCarthy also projected confidence about the GOP's chances in 2020, after Democrats regained the House last year. The Republican leader said he has personally helped raise $33 million for the effort and that the party is "further along" on candidate recruitment than in the past.

"What’s happening here is America is waking up," he said. "They’re seeing what’s coming at them, the socialism and the control of what they [the left] want to take over. But look at the individuals who are running."

McCarthy's remarks follow tensions between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez over a late-June debate on funding to address immigration issues. The Democratic figures later met, and Pelosi downplayed any divisions between them, saying after the meeting that she doesn't "think we have that many differences."

"We had a nice meeting. We had a nice meeting," she added after they met last week.