AOC says GOP caucus made up of 'White supremacist sympathizers,' suggests McCarthy 'answers' to QAnon

AOC suggests federal committee could potentially 'rein in' the press

FOX News media analyst and 'Media Buzz' host Howard Kurtz has the details on 'Special Report'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. scorched her Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill Wednesday, accusing them of sympathizing with White supremacists and alleging that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is beholden to QAnon conspiracy theorists.

During an appearance on MSNBC, the Democratic "Squad" member was asked about the "nature" of the GOP caucus that she works alongside with following the deadly riot on Jan. 6. She began by pointing out a "profound difference" between the GOP caucus in the current Congress and the one from the previous Congress.

"That difference was that it really felt that last term, the Republican caucus was one of extreme fealty to Donald Trump," Ocasio-Cortez told host Chris Hayes. "There were some that were true believers, others that simply remained quiet out of cowardice and out of fear of the president's retribution."

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"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. And if you see someone like the House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, of the Republican Party respond to White supremacist vitriol coming from his own members, not with censure like they did with Representative Steve King of Iowa, not with, you know, being stripped of committees, not with any consequence, you have to wonder who actually has that power. And it increasingly seems, unfortunately, that in the House Republican Caucus, Kevin McCarthy answers to these QAnon members of Congress, not the other way around. And that is something, frankly, that needs to be said."

Ocasio-Cortez then called out McCarthy's inaction on freshman congresswoman Majorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who has been under fire for spreading QAnon conspiracy theories, referring to the 2018 Parkland, Fla. mass shooting as a "false flag" and her vocal demands that Muslim members of Congress be sworn in on a Bible.

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The progressive Democrat insisted that pulling Greene aside for a conversation, as McCarthy indicated he would do, isn't enough.

"I've seen Kevin McCarthy pull someone aside before for a 'talking to' and that representative that I last saw him doing that to was Representative Ted Yoho of Florida," Ocasio-Cortez said, alluding to her feud with the GOP colleague who was accused of accosting the New York Democrat and calling her a "f------ b----."

"And what Kevin McCarthy did was that he pulled him aside to essentially excuse his behavior, to allow it, to abet it. And actually, Kevin McCarthy's lack of holding his own caucus accountable is one major reason why I went to the floor last year to hold Yoho accountable myself. So when I hear that Representative McCarthy is going to pull a member aside who has made White supremacist-sympathizing comments, the thing that I think is, 'What is he going to tell them, keep it up?'"

She continued, "Because there are no consequences in the Republican caucus for violence, there's no consequences for racism, no consequences for misogyny, no consequences for insurrection, and no consequences mean that they condone it. It means that silence is acceptance and they want it because they know that it is a core, animating energy for them and this is extremely dangerous ... For, you know, Republicans that are in that caucus that are unwilling to hold that accountable or distance themselves from it, we really, really need to ask ourselves what they are evolving themselves into because this is no longer a party of limited government. This is about something much more nefarious. "

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A senior House GOP aide fired back, telling Fox News, "At a time when America should be coming together, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is trying to further divide this nation.

"The Republican conference is focused on moving this nation forward by helping people get back to work, kids back to school, and vaccines for those who want it, and won't be distracted by petty political attacks from the left, especially from a hyper-partisan member like AOC," the aide told Fox News.

Fox News has reached out to McCarthy's office for comment.

Joseph Wulfsohn Fox News