Ocasio-Cortez and Steve King trade jabs over 'concentration camps' reference

By Bianca Quilantan
“The last time you went on this trip it was reported that you also met w/ fringe Austrian neo-Nazi groups to talk shop,” she tweeted.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Sunday lashed back at Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) after he suggested she accept an open invitation from a Holocaust remembrance group to tour Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps during summer recess.

“@AOC I went to Auschwitz & Birkenau with Eddie Mausberg & Jonny Daniels with In the Depths,” King wrote on Saturday. “I went with a deep understanding of the Shoah and had a profound personal experience. Please accept their offer.”

The New York Democrat, known for her Twitter ripostes, responded on Sunday: “The last time you went on this trip it was reported that you also met w/ fringe Austrian neo-Nazi groups to talk shop.”

“I’m going to have to decline your invite,” she tweeted. “But thank you for revealing to all how transparently the far-right manipulates these moments for political gain.”

Before declining the invitation, Ocasio-Cortez also took jabs at the Iowa Republican over his defense of the terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” during a New York Times interview.

“Mr. King, the Republican Party literally stripped you of your Congressional committee assignments because you were too racist even for them,” she wrote on Twitter. “My Jewish constituents have made clear to me that they proudly stand w/ caged children who are starved, denied sleep & sanitation” — a reference to migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The squabble follows Ocasio-Cortez’s comments in a video last week in which she compared Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers to “concentration camps.”

“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are — they are concentration camps,” Ocasio-Cortez said in the Instagram video, sparking an online debate.

The term “concentration camp” predates the Holocaust by decades and became widely used during the Boer War in South Africa, when British troops rounded up and interned tens of thousands of people. Similar tactics were used by U.S. forces fighting against Filipino soldiers to defeat the independence movement in the Philippines.

King isn’t the first Republican to criticize Ocasio-Cortez over her border remarks. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) took to Twitter last week to rail against them, saying she was “happy to help educate” her Democratic colleague.

“Please @AOC do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history. 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust,” Cheney wrote. “You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this.”

On Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez fired back at Cheney, as well.

“Hey @Liz_Cheney, you’re the GOP Conference Chair — perhaps you should come collect your colleague before more members of your caucus start saying the quiet parts loud,” she tweeted, referring to King.