Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told Anderson Cooper that there’s “no question” where Trump stands; Cooper appeared confused
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took a break from clapping back against conservatives on Twitter to sit down for a 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper. The freshman congresswoman’s appearance on America’s highest-rated news program, which aired Sunday night, was the first extra-Internet opportunity for Ocasio-Cortez to broadcast some of her policy beliefs to a national audience. As was revealed in a teaser clip posted Friday, these include a 70 percent marginal tax rate on the wealthy, which was bandied about online throughout the weekend. But for all of her talk about tax rates, universal healthcare and a Green New Deal to combat climate change, Ocasio-Cortez has mostly abstained from taking on the president directly. When Cooper asked her why, she explained that she treats Trump as more of a “symptom of a problem.” Part of this problem, she went on, is racism in America. Cooper then asked her to state the obvious.
“The president certainly didn’t invent racism,” said Ocasio-Cortez, “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?”
Ocasio-Cortez could hardly believe the question. “Yeah,” she said, shaking her head. “No question.”
“How can you say that?” asked Cooper.
Cooper seemed to be asking Ocasio-Cortez to elaborate not so much because he doesn’t believe it to be true, but as a way to allow the new Democratic star to flesh out the claim to Americans who may still be grappling with the idea. “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,” Ocasio-Cortez responded.