In what would be an unusually busy day on Twitter for anyone else — but just another Sunday for President Trump — the president issued yet another one of what mainstream media likes to euphemistically label his “false or misleading claims” with a tweet quoting the progressive freshman Congresswoman from New York City, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “I think we have a very real risk of losing the Presidency to Donald Trump.” I agree, and that is the only reason they play the impeach card, which cannot be legally used!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2019
Trump is commenting on a quote from Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s appearance on ABC‘s This Week this morning, where — in her first interview on a Sunday morning talk show since taking office in January — she indeed warned Democrats that Trump could possibly be re-elected.
The president unsurprisingly leaves out the context for Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s statement which came as part of a warning that such an eventuality could only take place if Democrats fail to nominate someone willing to make bold changes in the lives of everyday Americans.
While the activist representative did not immediately endorse any of the current candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination — saying she doesn’t anticipate doing so “anytime soon” — she advised her fellow Democrats against nominating a candidate proposing weak “half-measures” to reverse the course of our nation’s future.
Her full quote, which Trump truncated in his tweet, reads as follows:
“I think that we have a very real risk of losing the presidency to Donald Trump if we do not have a presidential candidate that is fighting for true transformational change in the lives of working people in the United States,” she said.
As a leading member of her party’s progressive wing, Ocasio-Cortez has long advocated for a fellow progressive to be nominated to lead the Democrat’s fight to replace Trump with one of their own.
“I really believe the only way that we’re going to be able to beat this president is with a progressive candidate,” she told a TV interviewer earlier this month. “We need candidates that are committed to Medicare for all, to tuition-free public colleges and universities. We need a candidate that is dedicated to passing at least a $15 minimum wage, ideally one that’s pegged to inflation.”
Nonetheless, she has pledged to support whomever the party as a whole decides to nominate.
With Joe Biden, the candidate representing the moderate wing of the Democratic party, defeating Trump by the widest margins in recent polling, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s comments were music to the president’s ears as he contemplates the ability to use a fear-mongering campaign labeling his opponent as a dreaded “socialist” in his anticipated barrage of negative campaign ads.
Unfortunately for Trump, other recent polls show him being beaten by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), as well as Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Moreover, any smidgen of credibility that Trump may still possess was completely eroded by his ending his tweet with an outrageous outright lie — that it would be illegal to impeach him — a concept that exists nowhere but in his own mind since the process of impeachment is clearly described in the Constitution, and Trump checks all of the boxes for eligibility for the inquiry that starts it all.
While it would be easy to dismiss Trump as a proven liar and simply ignore his tweets, the fact that so many people can see them and accept them as true if his statements are not publicly challenged and called out as lies means we’ll have to keep fact checking him every day.
That’s just the price we have to pay to fight against Trump’s authoritarian disinformation campaign.
UPDATE: Ocasio-Cortez responded to her fellow New Yorker, calling him out for the corrupt liar that he is.
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Original reporting by Adia Robinson at ABC News.