Two top aides to democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are departing her office.
Saikat Chakrabarti, AOC’s chief of staff, will no longer work for Ocasio-Cortez after Friday, the New York congresswoman told The Intercept.
It’s unclear when exactly her communications director, Corbin Trent, will leave, though he told The Intercept he plans to stay in his current role through at least the end of the month.
Trent isn’t going far, as Ocasio-Cortez simply asked him to serve as communications director for her 2020 campaign.
He’s “shifting to our campaign side so we can work on some ambitious comms projects we’ve been looking forward to working on,” Ocasio-Cortez told The Intercept.
Chakrabarti, meanwhile, is taking a new job at a nonprofit climate and Green New Deal advocacy group called New Consensus.
“Saikat has decided to leave the office of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to work with New Consensus to further develop plans for a Green New Deal,” Trent said in a statement to The Intercept.
“We are extraordinarily grateful for his service to advance a bold agenda and improve the lives of the people in NY-14,” he added.
“From his co-founding of Justice Democrats to his work on the Ocasio-Cortez campaign and in the official office, Saikat’s goal has always been to do whatever he can to help the larger progressive movement, and we look forward to continuing working with him to do just that,” Trent said.
Chakrabarti has been the subject of controversy and even caught the ire of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.
In June, moderate House Democrats supported an aid package to address the humanitarian crisis on America’s southern border. Chakrabarti was angered by this compromise.
He accused Blue Dog Democrats of being “New Southern Democrats,” saying on Twitter, “They certainly seem hell bent to do black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s.”
Pelosi eventually addressed the progressive response to the compromise, which in turn made AOC mad. And the House speaker tried to nip the controversy in the bud at a news conference.
“They took offense because I addressed, at the request of my members, an offensive tweet that came out of one of the members’ offices that referenced our Blue Dogs and our New Dems essentially as segregationists,” Pelosi said, presumably referring to Chakrabarti’s tweet. “Our members took offense at that. I addressed that. How they’re interpreting and carrying it to another place is up to them.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s office claimed this controversy had nothing to do with Chakrabarti’s departure.
“The idea from the start was to have Ocasio-Cortez’s office continue to build out a movement beyond the walls of Congress,” The Intercept reported.
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