Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a private meeting with freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday.
- Pelosi characterized it as a chance to "clear the air" but dismissed broader divisions within the House Democratic Caucus.
- "In a family you have your differences but you’re still family," Pelosi said of the 30-minute meeting.
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WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed back on divisions within the Democratic Caucus Friday after weeks of party infighting.
Pelosi held a private meeting Friday morning with freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who has criticized her leadership and suggested young female lawmakers of color have been unfairly singled out.
Pelosi dismissed the notion of intraparty squabbling, telling reporters, "In a family you have your differences but you’re still family."
"In our caucus we have our differences. Respect that instead of making a big issue of it," she said. "We just had a meeting to clear the air."
Prior to the meeting, Ocasio-Cortez downplayed the significance of the summit.
"It’s nothing too climactic," she said. "Just trying to make sure we have an open line of communication and get on the same page."
The meeting between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez lasted about 30 minutes. Asked if it was an opportunity to "bury the hatchet," Pelosi said there was no hatchet to begin with.
Ocasio-Cortez has previously complained about Pelosi’s comments that she and several other freshmen lawmakers, often called "the squad," were inconsequential compared to the larger House Democratic Caucus, which is considerably more moderate.
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