Jul 17, 2019

AOC says she's "absolutely" willing to meet with Pelosi

Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The 4 progressive Democrats targeted by President Trump dismissed him as a "bully" over his racist tweets and revealed they're willing to resolve differences with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in an interview broadcast on "CBS This Morning" Wednesday.

Details: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley recorded their first interview addressing Trump's Twitter attacks just before the House condemned him for racism. While they didn't hold back in their criticism of Trump or Republicans, they were more conciliatory toward Pelosi.

Catch up quick: Trump's tweets came at a time of escalating tension between the progressives known as "the squad" and Pelosi, who criticized their Twitter use in a New York Times interview this month. She later reportedly warned them in a closed-door meeting to air party grievances privately.

  • Ocasio-Cortez told the Washington Post she felt Pelosi was singling out "newly elected women of color." The freshman lawmakers addressed the intra-party tension during a Netroots Nation panel discussion on Saturday.

The big picture: In the wide-ranging interview, Ocasio-Cortez told CBS' Gayle King she would "absolutely" meet with Pelosi and that her staff had already contacted the speaker's office.

  • Pelosi's spokesperson told CBS they were working on scheduling a time for AOC's requested one-on-one meeting. He told the network Pelosi's chief of staff had recently met with the chiefs of staff of "the squad."

What they're saying: Tlaib told King she was also willing to meet with Pelosi. "She has every right to sit down with her in any moment, in any time, with any of us," Tlaib said. "She is speaker of the House. She can ask for a meeting to sit down with us for clarification."

"Acknowledge the fact that we are women of color, so when you do single us out, be aware of that and what you're doing, especially because some of us are getting death threats, because some of us are being singled out in many ways because of our backgrounds, because of our experiences and so forth."

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Mnuchin says Pelosi has privately committed to a USMCA vote by October

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been telling colleagues that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has privately assured him she would allow a vote on the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) by October, according to 3 administration officials familiar with the internal conversations. Pelosi's office unequivocally denies that she gave Mnuchin any assurances on timing for a USMCA vote.

Why it matters: The USMCA — the trade deal that President Trump renegotiated to replace NAFTA — is the Trump administration's top legislative priority. Trump has signed the deal, but the law requires Congress to approve the trade deal on a yes or no vote. Pelosi leads the House and controls what legislation is voted on, meaning she has the power to kill the USMCA.

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