U.S. House Speaker Pelosi all smiles after meeting with Ocasio-Cortez
By Susan Cornwell and Makini Brice WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had no hatchet to bury on Friday, playing down tensions after a meeting between the powerful speaker and freshman lawmaker who in recent months has seized the Democratic Party spotlight
By Susan Cornwell and Makini Brice
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had no hatchet to bury on Friday, playing down tensions after a meeting between the powerful speaker and freshman lawmaker who in recent months has seized the Democratic Party spotlight.
In clashes with her own party leaders as well as the White House over border aid and other issues, Ocasio-Cortez and a handful of other left-wing Democratic progressives have become a target for President Donald Trump and his Republicans heading into the 2020 U.S. elections.
The rise of "the squad," as Ocasio-Cortez's small group of four minority congresswomen is known, has sometimes appeared to strain Pelosi's patience as she works to keep House Democrats unified and to restrain demands from many lawmakers to start impeachment proceedings against Trump.
In a news conference on Friday, Pelosi minimized divisions with Ocasio-Cortez and the other three squad members - Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley.
Asked if she and Ocasio-Cortez had buried the hatchet, Pelosi told reporters, "I don't think there ever was any hatchet."
"These, some personality issues and the rest, they are minor," she said.
"We sat down today. We had a good meeting. And the congresswoman is a very gracious member of Congress, so we had a very positive conversation about our districts and how we represent them, our country."
Pelosi also said that differences of opinion in the Democratic Party should be respected.
"We are not a lockstep, rubber-stamp representation of anything," she said, recalling past party brawls over issues such as the Iraq war.
Ocasio-Cortez did not speak to reporters after the meeting and there was no immediate comment from her office.
The Capitol Hill meeting with Pelosi came at the request of the 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez as Congress departed Washington for a six-week break with an uncertain outlook for Democrats' legislative agenda and their multiple investigations of Trump.
The speaker, who is 79, declined to list her policy differences with Ocasio-Cortez but others did on Twitter. Among other things they "hold different positions on Medicare for All, free college and cancelling student debt, taking corporate donations, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and border issues, impeachment," wrote Waleed Shahid, communications director for the Justice Democrats, a left-wing group that helped launch Ocasio-Cortez's political career last year.
Initiating an impeachment proceeding against Trump remains high on the priority list for Democrats such as Ocasio-Cortez while Pelosi has worked to rein in impeachment demands.
At least 90 House of Representatives Democrats as of early this week had said they support starting impeachment investigations against Trump.
Earlier this month Pelosi appeared dismissive of the influence of Ocasio-Cortez and the squad in an interview with the New York Times. Ocasio-Cortez responded by telling the Washington Post that she thought Pelosi had been "disrespectful."
Trump then attacked the minority lawmakers in tweets that the House of Representatives, under Pelosi’s leadership, afterward voted to condemn as racist.
While Trump’s attack was seen by some as an attempt to divide Democrats, it gave Pelosi a chance to come to the squad’s defense and reset her relationship with the lawmakers as the 2020 congressional and presidential elections approach.
Sarah Matthews, the Trump campaign's deputy press secretary, on Friday poked fun at the meeting of Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez, saying, "So nice for the leader of the Democratic party to take time out of her busy schedule to meet with Nancy Pelosi."
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Bill Trott)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.