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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explains why she believes Trump is racist

Ever since her surprising victory in a New York City congressional primary last June, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has not been shy about expressing ideas some see as radical, from the Green New Deal to proposing a 70 percent marginal tax rate for the wealthy. On 60 Minutes on Sunday night, she made another bold statement about President Trump being a racist.

When Anderson Cooper asked Ocasio-Cortez why she doesn’t speak about Trump very often, she called him a “symptom of a problem,” adding that “the president certainly didn’t invent racism, but he’s certainly given a voice to it, and expanded it and created a platform for those things.”

When asked flatly if she believes Trump is racist, Ocasio-Cortez said, “Yeah, yeah. No question.” She noted the language he uses when speaking about race — for example, when he stated that there were fine people on both sides after the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and his rhetoric on immigration. “When you look at the words that he uses, which are historic dog whistles of white supremacy, when you look at how he reacted to the Charlottesville incident, where neo-Nazis murdered a woman, versus how he manufactures crises like immigrants seeking legal refuge on our borders, it’s night and day,” she said.

In a statement to 60 Minutes, the White House refuted Ocasio-Cortez’s claim that Trump is racist, stating that her “sheer ignorance on the matter can’t cover the fact that President Trump supported and passed historic criminal justice reform.”

60 Minutes airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on CBS.

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