Sanders: Pelosi is being 'a little bit' too tough on Ocasio-Cortez

Sanders: Pelosi is being 'a little bit' too tough on Ocasio-Cortez
© Greg Nash

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.), a 2020 White House hopeful, said Sunday that he supports freshman congresswomen including 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.) for energizing their progressive bases as the lawmakers clash with Democratic leaders. 

"Do you think the Speaker is being too tough on them?" NBC's Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddUS ambassador to Germany calls out journalists who blocked him on Twitter Immigration officials defend Mississippi ICE raids as part of larger investigation Harris: Russian election interference exposed race as nation's 'Achilles heel' MORE asked Sanders on "Meet the Press,"  noting that Ocasio-Cortez recently called out Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move Pelosi: Israel's Omar-Tlaib decision 'a sign of weakness' MORE (D-Calif) for her "explicit singling out of newly elected women of color." 

"I think a little bit," Sanders responded. "I think you cannot ignore the young people of this country who are passionate about economic and racial and social and environmental justice. You've got to bring them in not alienate them."

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Sanders, who has also clashed with Democratic Party leaders, said the future of the country and party "rests with young people." 

"Is this part of this bigger disruption you helped lead for years ago?" Todd asked Sanders. 

"What Alexandria and other young women, and women of color, are saying, we have got to reach out to young people. We have got to hear the pain of the working class of this country, and that is causing some of the disruption in the leadership of the Democratic Party," Sanders responded. 

"I support Alexandria's and the other women’s desire to bring more people, especially young people, working-class people, into the  Democratic Party. That is the future of the Democratic Party," he added. 

Tensions have been escalating between four freshman Democrats, including Ocasio-Cortez and Reps.  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.), 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.) 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.), and Pelosi after the group did not vote in favor of a  House funding bill to provide resources for agencies handling migrants at the border. 

Pelosi called out the representatives in a New York Times column, leading to a tense back and forth between her and Ocasio-Cortez. 

Pelosi said last week she was done talking about the issue.