Hours after President Trump cited comments from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Sunday to defend himself against the pro-impeachment movement among congressional Democrats and highlight his reelection chances, the freshman lawmaker said she’d call the president’s bluff on whether impeachment could be “legally used.”
After Ocasio-Cortez told ABC’s “This Week” that Democrats have “a very real risk of losing the presidency to Donald Trump” if the party does not have candidate in 2020 who will fight for “true transformational change” in people’s lives, the president took to Twitter to concur with his political adversary, selectively quoting the congresswoman to push back against his critics.
“'I think we have a very real risk of losing the Presidency to Donald Trump,'” tweeted Trump, citing an edited version of Ocasio-Cortez’s quote. “I agree, and that is the only reason they play the impeach card, which cannot be legally used!”
Late Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez responded to Trump, suggesting to the fellow New Yorker that “the impeach card” was one she could push him on moving forward.
“Mr. President, you’re from Queens,” the Bronx native tweeted. “You may fool the rest of the country, but I’ll call your bluff any day of the week. Opening an impeachment inquiry is exactly what we must do when the President obstructs justice, advises witnesses to ignore legal subpoenas, & more.”
She concluded her response with “Bye” and a waving-hand emoji.
The back-and-forth between Trump and Ocasio-Cortez on their shared platform of choice comes as dozens of Democrats, including the freshman lawmaker, are calling to impeach the president, even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has quashed the prospect of impeachment for now, The Washington Post’s Rachael Bade reported on Sunday.
In her interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl, Ocasio-Cortez said Trump’s recent Oval Office sit-down with George Stephanopoulos, in which the president acknowledged he would consider accepting information on his political opponents from a foreign government, was the latest indication of why Trump should be held accountable to “the rule of law.”
“I think every day that passes, the pressure to impeach grows and I think that it’s justifiable, I think the evidence continues to come in,” she said. “I believe that with the president now saying he is willing to break the law to win reelection, that transcends partisanship, it transcends party lines, and this is now about the rule of law in the United States of America.”
Her sentiment is reflective of a recent spike among Democratic voters pushing for impeachment. A poll released Sunday from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal found that 48 percent of Democratic voters back impeachment, up from 30 percent last month. But the poll found that the nation remains largely divided on the issue, with Republican and independent voters opposing impeachment hearings.
Trump’s quoting of the New York lawmaker came toward the end of a busy Sunday for him on Twitter, which included him sending Father’s Day wishes to his “worst and most vicious critics, of which there are fewer and fewer,” sharing a video of lawmakers and pundits doubting his 2016 campaign and congratulating golfer Gary Woodland for winning the U.S. Open. The president also thanked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for inaugurating Trump Heights, Israel’s newest town on the Golan Heights, which is located in the same area that Trump recognized in March as being part of sovereign Israel, The Post’s Ruth Eglash reported.
The president wasn’t the only 2020 candidate Ocasio-Cortez addressed on Sunday. As The Post’s Felicia Sonmez reported, Ocasio-Cortez also weighed in on the candidacy of former vice president Joe Biden, saying that he still has some work to do to change his behavior toward women.
“I think that’s something that he has to kind of show the electorate,” said Ocasio-Cortez, responding to whether she believes Biden understands some of the concerns that have been raised regarding his behavior. “You know, I think that it is an issue where there is a struggle; I’ll be completely honest.”
When asked whether Trump would be reelected if the Democrats do not nominate someone who identifies as a true progressive, Ocasio-Cortez cautioned against electing a president who advocated for “half-measures,” such as someone who would not fight for a $15 minimum wage, a tuition-free college initiative or advancing women’s rights. She reiterated her concern of what that would mean for 2020.
“I think we have a very real risk of losing the presidency,” she said.
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