By Paula Katinas
In the wake of a firestorm of controversy that erupted over a Politico report, U.S. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez denied that she is looking to defeat Democratic colleague U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries in 2020.
“One disappointment about D.C. is the gossip that masquerades as ‘reporting.’ This story has: - Not a SINGLE named or verifiable source - Only ONE on-the-record comment, which is a denial,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter on Tuesday after the article appeared on Politico’s website and tongues started wagging in the Capitol.
And in case anyone didn’t get her point, Ocasio-Cortez added to her tweet. “My dad had a name for junk articles like this: ‘Birdcage lining,’” she wrote.
A spokesman for Jeffries told the Brooklyn Eagle Wednesday morning that the congressmember would have no comment on reports that Ocasio-Cortez is gunning for him. But the spokesperson also pointed out, in an email to the Eagle, that Ocasio-Cortez had declared the Politico story to be untrue.
Meanwhile, Politico isn’t backing down.
Brad Dayspring, vice president of marketing and communications for Politico, told Fox News that the political news website stands by its reporting.
“It’s hard to know what the criticism of the piece is since the congresswoman-elect doesn’t specify (nor has she or anyone from her staff asked for a correction). We stand by our story,” Dayspring told Fox News.
Politico reported on Tuesday that Ocasio-Cortez and a group of progressives called Justice Democrats are planning to go after Jeffries in 2020 and that a candidate has been recruited to run against him.
Jeffries, whose congressional district includes Coney Island, Canarsie and East New York in Brooklyn and Howard Beach and South Ozone Park in Queens, was elected to serve as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.
Ocasio-Cortez rocked New York’s political establishment when she toppled longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley in June’s Democratic primary in a district that covers several Queens neighborhoods and a portion of the Bronx. She subsequently won election in November.