Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says House GOP Has 'Legitimate White Supremacist Sympathizers'

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has accused House Republicans of kowtowing to white supremacist groups in their refusal to back consequences for the storming of the Capitol earlier this month by a far-right, pro-President Donald Trump mob bent on overturning the election results.

Speaking with MSNBC's Chris Hayes on Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez suggested the House GOP is turning into "something much more nefarious" having been stripped of their leader in the White House, and are now turning to white supremacist organizations "as a political tool."

Ocasio-Cortez was among the lawmakers forced to flee the chambers on January 6 when rioters broke into the Capitol building. Members of the mob chanted slogans including, "Hang Mike Pence," and claimed on social media they wanted to assassinate Ocasio-Cortez.

Others are believed to have searched for lawmakers planning to take some hostage in their bid to overturn the results of the November presidential election.

A majority of House lawmakers voted to confirm the election results, but 147 Republican representatives voted against. Critics have warned this represents an anti-democratic nucleus within the GOP structure, one imbued with racism, conspiracy theories and far-right extremism.

"It really felt that, last term, the Republican caucus was one of extreme fealty to Donald Trump," Ocasio-Cortez said. "There were some that were true believers, others that simply remained quiet out of cowardice and out of fear of the president's retribution. But this term there are legitimate white supremacist sympathizers that sit at the heart and at the core of the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives."

Ocasio-Cortez cited the example of QAnon conspiracy theorist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who recently endorsed violence against Democrats and publicly harassed a survivor of the Parkland school mass shooting. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said he plans to speak with Greene about her "deeply disturbing" comments, but Ocasio-Cortez said this is not enough.

"It increasingly seems, unfortunately, that in the House Republican caucus, Kevin McCarthy answers to these QAnon members of congress, not the other way around," she said.

"There are no consequences in the Republican caucus for violence. No consequences for racism. No consequences for misogyny. No consequences for insurrection. And no consequences means that they condone it. It means that silence is acceptance, and they want it, because they know it is a core animating political energy for them."

Trump is out of office, but the chauvinism and reactionary politics that put him there remains. Liberal observers had hoped his departure would allow the GOP to pivot back to a more moderate platform, but four years of Trump and the radicalization of the Republican base could push the party to extremes.

"This is extremely dangerous, an extremely dangerous threshold we have crossed because we are now away from acting out of fealty to their president that they had in the Oval Office, and now we are talking about fealty to white supremacists organizations as a political tool," Ocasio-Cortez said.

"And for Republicans that are in that caucus that are unwilling to hold that accountable or to distance themselves from it, we really, really, need to ask ourselves what they are evolving into. Because this is no longer about a party of limited government, this is about something much more nefarious."

Trump supporters pictured before Capitol storming
Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Brent Stirton/Getty Images/Getty