Ocasio-Cortez Doubles Down on Biden Keeping Emanuel Out for 'Covering Up a Murder'

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Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking to the media in the Bronx, September 19, 2020.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking to the media in the Bronx, September 19, 2020. Credit: Andrew Kelly / Reuters

New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is doubling down on her insistence that former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel not be chosen to serve in President-elect Joe Biden's administration after reports he was under consideration to be secretary of transportation.

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Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter, “What is so hard to understand about this? Rahm Emanuel helped cover up the murder of Laquan McDonald. Covering up a murder is disqualifying for public leadership.This is not about the 'visibility' of a post. It is shameful and concerning that he is even being considered.”

Two weeks ago Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Times in an interview, “Someone like Rahm Emanuel would be a pretty divisive pick.” Ocasio-Cortez, seen as a leader of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, added that “it would signal, I think, a hostile approach to the grass-roots and the progressive wing of the party.”

Ocasio-Cortez later explained her opposition to Emanuel, writing on Twitter that his fight with activists in Chicago over the police shooting of Laquan McDonald, a Black teen killed in 2014, disqualified the former mayor and chief of staff for former President Barack Obama.

Emanuel has been accused of trying to conceal dashboard camera video of McDonald's deadly shooting until after his 2015 reelection. The video was eventually released by a court ruling and Emanuel has strongly denied trying to conceal the circumstances surrounding McDonald’s death.

"We must govern with integrity and accountability. Laquan McDonald’s life mattered," Ocasio-Cortez added.

Ocasio-Cortez’s most recent call was echoed by incoming freshmen Democrats Mondaire Jones and Jamaal Bowman – who will also represent the New York City area.

Biden moves forward

Biden began a new phase in his transition to the White House  on Tuesday after the Trump administration gave the Democrat access to critical resources that will enable him to take the reins of power in January.

The General Services Administration's announcement on Monday that it would formally recognize Biden's transition came after weeks of the president falsely claiming that the Nov. 3 election had been marred by widespread voter fraud.

Trump, in a post on Twitter, offered support for the move.

Critics have said the president's refusal to accept the results undermined U.S. democracy and undercut the next administration's ability to fight the novel coronavirus.

While Trump stopped short of conceding, it was the closest he has come to acknowledging that it is time to hand over power to Biden, who will take office on Jan. 20.

The GSA announcement will allow the president-elect to access millions of dollars in funds and focus on putting together a leadership team.

It also paves the way for Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to receive regular national security briefings that Trump also gets.

On Tuesday, Biden and Harris are expected to formally introduce their appointments to critical national security and foreign policy positions in Wilmington, Delaware.

Two Trump administration officials said the Biden agency review teams could begin interacting with Trump agency officials as soon as Tuesday.

The Biden transition team said meetings would begin with federal officials on Washington's response to the coronavirus pandemic, along with discussions of national security issues.

On Monday, Biden tapped trusted aide Antony Blinken to head the State Department and John Kerry, a former U.S. senator, secretary of state and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, to serve as his special climate envoy.

Biden, who plans to undo many of Trump's "America First" policies, also named Jake Sullivan as his national security adviser and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations – both with high-level government experience.

He is likely to tap former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to become the next Treasury secretary, according to two Biden allies, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a personnel decision that was not yet public.

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