Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed U.S. foreign policy during a private meeting with Bronx community leaders, prompting two military veterans to storm out of the meeting.
“She knocks the country, she knocks the president. And that’s not what America is about,” said Vietnam War vet and treasurer of Community Board 11, Silvio Mazzella.
Another Army veteran who worked in the NYPD for 38 years, and commanded the Bronx’s homicide detectives, Anthony Vitaliano – was sitting between Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and a staffer for the freshman Dem.
“I just couldn’t hear her BS anymore,” said the former CB11 chairman. “I just got up, got my umbrella in my hand and walked right out.”
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez held the closed-door meeting with about a few members of the board on Wednesday, marking a rare visit to the Bronx part of her district.
One Middle Eastern board member raised the issue of the conflict in Yemen.
In response, the progressive firebrand blasted the U.S. policy of providing bombs to Saudi Arabia, which has supported Yemen’s government in a civil war, according to attendees. Some blamed AOC for not including the roles of other nations in explaining the volatile region’s violence.
“Talking about America, that really turned me off completely,” said Mazzella, 74, who fought in Vietnam from 1966 to 1968.
When Israel came up later in the meeting, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez suggested Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu are autocrats, according to a person at the meeting.
“I was revolted,” said the attendee, who didn’t want his name published.
He, Mazzella and Vitaliano stated that they all walked out in disgust before the end of the session.
The NY Post also reported that earlier during the meeting, board members complained about problems with the U.S. Postal Service, which regularly misses mail deliveries, and a local Amtrak property that is a magnet for graffiti vandals. CB 11 is a working-class neighborhood on the eastern side of the Bronx covering Allerton, Morris Park, Pelham Gardens and Van Nest. In addition to parts of the Bronx, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s district includes north-central Queens.
“Did she care about the issues? She wrote them down,” claimed Vitaliano, 78. “The jury will be out on the local issues.”
She “danced around the whole” question of Columbus Day, for which the neighborhood holds a parade every year, said Vitaliano, who supports creating a day for indigenous people and wants to preserve the treasured Italian-American tradition.
Ocasio-Cortez’s office denied that anyone stormed out of the meeting stating: “The only person that left the meeting while it was underway was someone who had to go pick up their children.”
Asked about Ocasio-Cortez’s office response, Vitaliano said, “That’s bulls–t. Everybody that was there knows I walked out.”