July 18, 2019 / 9:46 PM / a month ago

House Speaker Pelosi to meet with Representative Ocasio-Cortez next week

FILE PHOTO: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) greets Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) before a ceremonial swearing-in picture on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 3, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will meet on July 25 with U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman lawmaker who has clashed with Republican President Donald Trump and her own Democratic leadership, a Pelosi aide said on Thursday.

Ocasio-Cortez had requested one-on-one time with Pelosi, the top elected U.S. Democrat, to discuss their relationship following weeks of infighting in the party over border aid legislation and other issues.

Ocasio-Cortez’s office declined to comment.

Last weekend, Trump attacked Ocasio-Cortez and three other minority progressive congresswomen, known as “the squad,” in tweets that the House of Representatives, under Pelosi’s leadership, voted on Tuesday to condemn as “racist comments.”

While Trump’s attack was seen by some as an attempt to divide Democrats, it presented Pelosi with a chance to come to the squad’s defense and possibly reset her relationship with the lawmakers, who have sometimes been critical of her leadership.

On Thursday, the leaders of several groups in the House Democratic caucus, ranging from progressive to more moderate lawmakers, moved to ease the party’s internal tensions by issuing a joint statement declaring their “unity of purpose.”

They also deleted some messages on Twitter that had aggravated Democratic squabbling in recent weeks, House Democratic aides said, one of whom called it a “complete de-escalation.”

Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Peter Cooney

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