Ocasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud

TheHill | 7/16/2019 | Mike Lillis and Scott Wong
dorkyrocker (Posted by) Level 3
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) chief of staff has become a lightning rod within the caucus for his Twitter attacks on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other members of the party.

In recent weeks, Saikat Chakrabarti has tweeted messages suggesting Pelosi is an ineffective legislator, that a Native American lawmaker voted “to enable a racist system” and that moderate Democrats are modern-day segregationists because they backed a Senate border aid bill.

Pressure - Ocasio-Cortez - New - York - Democrat

It’s all put additional pressure on Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat who has taken Congress by storm.

“That’s just a terrible statement to make. That’s a terrible statement to make,” Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), a Congressional Black Caucus member, said of Chakrabarti’s segregationists tweets. “Somebody’s got to be held accountable. If my staff did something that was not right, then I have to handle my staff.”

Question - Staff - Something - Meeks - Days

“The question is: Do you think it’s appropriate for your staff to say something like that?” added Meeks, who in recent days has threatened to back a primary challenger against Ocasio-Cortez.

The extraordinary nature of Chakrabarti’s internecine barbs prompted an unprecedented counterattack on Friday by Democratic leaders, highlighting the extent to which the 33-year-old liberal activist has gotten under the skin of his boss’s colleagues.

Aide - Lawmakers - Name - Media - Chakrabarti

It is highly unusual for a Democratic aide to attack Democratic lawmakers by name on social media, but Chakrabarti isn’t your traditional aide. He’s a Harvard alum and tech entrepreneur who left Silicon Valley to focus on progressive activism, helped recruit Ocasio-Cortez to Congress as a leader of the insurgent group Justice Democrats and is now emerging as a political celebrity in his own right.

Chakrabarti’s outspoken style — combined with his history fighting to topple incumbent Democrats deemed too conservative to bear the party brand — has made him a target of fierce new scrutiny while raising questions about his longevity on Capitol Hill....
(Excerpt) Read more at: TheHill
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