A Fox News guest speculated Monday that Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have barred the media from a recent event because she was “harboring” undocumented immigrants. Ocasio-Cortez has come under fierce criticism after barring the press from two town hall events in New York that were open to the public.
In a tweet Friday, the Democratic Socialist who upset prominent Democrat Joe Crowley in New York’s June primary, said that the decision to exclude the media was out of consideration for those attending.
“Our community is 50% immigrant,” she wrote in response to criticism from a Washington Post reporter on Friday. “Folks are victims of DV, trafficking, + have personal medical issues.”
She added: “This town hall was designed for residents to feel safe discussing sensitive issues in a threatening political time. We indicated previously that it would be closed to press.”
Our community is 50% immigrant. Folks are victims of DV, trafficking, + have personal medical issues.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) August 17, 2018
“We indicated previously that the event would be closed to press. Future ones are open.”
Appearing on the Fox News show Outnumbered Monday, editor of conservative website Townhall, Katie Pavlich, suggested it was clear what Ocasio-Cortez was alluding to.
“She says that 50 percent of the community are immigrants, but at the same time doesn’t want to let anyone in to meet who these people are, which signals to me that they are actually illegal immigrants and that they are harboring them, and they don’t want the press to expose that they’re here illegally,” she said without evidence.
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One of the show’s co-hosts pushed back on the comment, although not because she deemed it offensive.
“That’s what she wants you to say, she’s throwing that out there,” Melissa Francis said.
The criticism over the incident came as hundreds of newspapers across the country protested against President Donald Trump’s treatment of the media.
“Say what you will about the president’s fire and fury against the press, at least he invites them to events,” Lisa Kennedy Montgomery said on the Fox News show. “I don’t know what it is about Democrats where they have to pen them off but it almost seems as if she’s coming up with a laundry list of excuses because several of her recent press events have not gone so well for her.”
Ocasio-Cortez has made a number of errors in recent weeks, including when discussing unemployment numbers and healthcare.
Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed campaigns with support from New York Democrat candidate for Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a rally on the campus of Wayne State University July 28, 2018, in Detroit. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
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