WASHINGTON: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman lawmaker who has clashed with Republican President Donald Trump and her own Democratic leadership, has sought a meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to discuss their relationship, a Pelosi aide said on Wednesday (Jul 17).
The outspoken New Yorker's request for one-on-one time with Pelosi, the nation's most powerful Democrat, was made on Tuesday. Schedulers are working on it, and the chiefs of staff of both offices have met, said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.
Ocasio-Cortez's office declined to comment.
The meeting would follow a turbulent few days for both women as Democrats chart a path forward for their House agenda and plans for Democrats to run against Trump and his Republicans in the upcoming 2020 elections.
Over the weekend, Trump attacked Ocasio-Cortez and three other minority progressive congresswomen, known as "the squad," in tweets the House, under Pelosi's leadership, voted on Tuesday to condemn as "racist comments."
While Trump's attack was seen by some as an attempt to divide Democrats, it presented Pelosi with a chance to come to the squad's defence and possibly reset her relationship with the congresswomen, who have sometimes been critical of Pelosi's leadership.
The squad appeared on "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday and Ocasio-Cortez said sometimes "there are members who challenge her conclusions, who disagree with her," referring to Pelosi. But Ocasio-Cortez said that does not mean there is "a fundamental fracture" among Democrats.
Pelosi forcefully defended the four congresswomen in the furore that played out after Trump's tweets, calling his comments "disgraceful and disgusting" and "racist."
The Democratic-controlled House late on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning Trump's comments by a 240-187 vote, with four Republicans joining Democrats in support of the measure.
Dozens of Republicans in Congress have also criticised or raised some level of concern about Trump's attacks.
Ocasio-Cortez's request for a meeting with Pelosi came hours before Tuesday's vote on the resolution, which most Republicans opposed.
The other squad members are Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Trump tweeted they should all "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
All four women of colour are US citizens. Three were born in the United States. Omar was born in Somalia and emigrated as a child, with her family securing asylum after arriving in the United States.
In a late-night tweet, Trump praised Republicans for remaining "unified" on the condemnation vote "concerning statements I made about four Democrat Congresswomen."