Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Donald Trump Is Most Definitely a Racist

Anderson Cooper: “How can you say that?”

CBS

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In a 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper on Sunday evening, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old democratic socialist from New York who, along with all other new members of Congress, was sworn in on January 3, said President Donald Trump is a racist, “no question.”

Cooper played it straight. “How can you say that?” he replied.

“When you look at the words that he uses, which are historic dog whistles of white supremacy,” she said, “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—it’s night and day.”

Ocasio-Cortez also said her idea of “socialist” policies resembles “what we see in the UK, in Norway, in Finland, in Sweden,” not places like the Soviet Union, Cuba, or Venezuela, which Trump and others cite to bash her. And Democrats, she said, have compromised too much in the past.

A clip from Sunday’s interview, in which Ocasio-Cortez suggested the idea of high marginal tax rates on the super-rich, went viral earlier this week. “When you have a progressive tax rate system, your tax rate, you know, let’s say, from zero to $75,000 [is] maybe 10 percent or 15 percent, etc.,” she said. “But once you get to, like, the tippy tops—on your 10 millionth dollar—sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 or 70 percent. That doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate, but it means that as you climb up this ladder, you should be contributing more.”

Also this week, Ocasio-Cortez adeptly parried criticism from Republicans, including GOP campaign consultant Ed Rollins, who on Friday called her “the little girl” on Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs Tonight show. And after a Twitter user, with the intention of embarrassing her, surfaced a video of Ocasio-Cortez dancing on a rooftop during her college days, she responded with a new video.

Watch the full 60 Minutes interview here:

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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