There is “no question” that President Donald Trump is a racist, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview that aired Sunday night.
Speaking on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, told Anderson Cooper that Trump “certainly didn’t invent racism. But he’s certainly given a voice to it and expanded it and created a platform for those things.”
“Do you believe President Trump is a racist?” Cooper asked.
“Yeah, yeah, no question,” Ocasio-Cortez replied.
“When you look at the words that he uses, which are historic dog whistles of white supremacy. When you look at how he reacted to the Charlottesville incident where neo-Nazis murdered a woman, versus how he manufactures crises like immigrants seeking legal refuge on our borders, it’s night and day,” she continued.
In a statement to CBS, the White House said in response to her comments that “Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s sheer ignorance on the matter can’t cover the fact that President Trump supported and passed historic criminal justice reform … (and) has repeatedly condemned racism and bigotry in all forms.”
The White House did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Ocasio-Cortez, who was sworn in to her first term in Congress last week, is known for her outspoken criticism of Trump and the Republican Party. Following Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s use of profanity last week in calling for Trump’s impeachment, Ocasio-Cortez defended Tlaib and said removing Trump is “an issue that she’s passionate about.”
“I certainly think it’s a valid question, and it’s one that a lot of voters were interested in having in the run-up to the election,” Ocasio-Cortez told CNN. “It’s a legitimate discussion to have.”
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi and Allie Malloy contributed to this report.