Ocasio-Cortez defends Jamaal Bowman, rips Santos, GOP

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Sunday defended Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) after he pulled a fire alarm in a House office building before the government funding vote Saturday. 

Bowman has apologized for pulling the alarm, which has led to an investigation by Capitol Police and an expulsion push by some House Republicans.

After CNN’s Jake Tapper suggested that Bowman’s explanation of why he pulled the alarm didn’t seem to make sense, OcasioCortez said she did take him at his word and that his explanation was understandable.

“I think if you actually do see some of the photos of the signs, I think there’s something to be said about, the government’s about to shut down. There’s a vote clock that’s going down. The exits that are normally open in that building were suddenly closed,” Ocasio-Cortez said. 

She added that Bowman apologized, said he made a mistake and is actively cooperating with investigators. She drew a distinction with House Republicans’ response to Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) after he was indicted on federal charges, which include allegations of lying to House investigators. 

“The idea that there is somehow any kind of equivalence to someone who is actively trying to clear up a situation that he himself admits he’s embarrassed, he released a statement last night, he apologized, and they are protecting someone who has not only committed wire fraud, not only defrauded veterans, not only lied to congressional investigators, but is openly gloating about it, is absolutely humiliating for the Republican caucus, and I think that they should really check their own values,” she said. 

Ocasio-Cortez stressed that she thought there was no equivalence between the two cases.

“They are protecting someone who has lied to the American people, lied to the United States House of Representatives, lied to congressional investigators. But they’re filing a motion to expel a member who in a moment of panic was trying to escape a vestibule? Give me a break,” she said.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez George Santos Jake Tapper Jamaal Bowman