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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Donna Shalala listen to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of "singling out" newly elected women of color in Congress, in an interview with the Washington Post on Wednesday.

"When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood. But the persistent singling out … it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful … the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color."

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez made the comments after Pelosi warned progressives in a closed-door meeting Wednesday to privately air party grievances, according to WashPost, Politico, USA Today and other outlets, citing sources present in the room.

  • The outlets quote Pelosi as saying, "You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it. But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just OK."
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) told WashPost she found Pelosi's comments "demoralizing."
"I am worried about the signal that it sends to people I speak to and for, who sent me here with a mandate, and how it affects them."
— Rep. Pressley

Context: Both parties have publicly aired disagreements in recent days. On Saturday, Pelosi singled out Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Ocasio-Cortez in an interview with the New York Times.

"All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got."
  • Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response, "That public 'whatever' is called public sentiment. And wielding the power to shift it is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country." 

Why it matters: The situation highlights the political and generational divide between the most powerful woman in U.S. politics and the progressives trying to push the party left, as WashPost notes.

Go deeper

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.