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Twitter lights up after journalist comments on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's outfit

MEGHAN KENEALLY

Twitter lights up after journalist comments on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's outfit originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

The newly-elected youngest member of Congress is teaching D.C. a thing or two about the Twitterverse.

Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's clothing choice became the subject of a controversial tweet, which then spiraled from what appeared to be a critique about her clothing and personal wealth to a full-blown meme-a-thon.

It all started with this tweet from Eddie Scarry, a journalist with the conservative Washington Examiner: "Hill staffer sent me this pic of Ocasio-Cortez they took just now. I'll tell you something: that jacket and coat don't look like a girl who struggles."

The tweet appeared to take a shot at Ocasio-Cortez’s financial status, which was a point of controversy during her campaign and came up again when she said she could not afford to rent an apartment in Washington until her congressional salary starts.

PHOTO: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez departs after the Member-Elect class photo on the Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 14, 2018. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images, FILE)

Ocasio-Cortez, 29, responded with a tweet of her own, saying that she expected she might be judged no matter what she wore.

"If I walked into Congress wearing a sack, they would laugh & take a picture of my backside. If I walk in with my best sale-rack clothes, they laugh & take a picture of my backside. Dark hates light - that’s why you tune it out. Shine bright & keep it pushing," she wrote in a tweet that included Scarry's original tweet about her.

She was far from the only one bothered by the tweet, as a hail of Twitter fire came down from both sides of the political aisle. Scarry deleted his tweet, but it was screen grabbed and quoted repeatedly.

MSNBC host Jacob Soboroff tweeted that Scarry should "get a life," and Mike Cernovich, known best for his alt-right social media presence, tweeted that Scarry should "Delete this." Scarry fired back at both critics on Twitter.

PHOTO: Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., joined at left by Rep.-elect Joe Neguse, D-Colo., exit a Democratic Caucus meeting in the basement of the Capitol in Washington, Nov. 15, 2018. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

(MORE: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opens freshman orientation by leading protest at Nancy Pelosi's office)

Even Dictionary.com got in on the shade game, defining "girl" and using the congresswoman-elect in their use of the word.

"E.g. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not a girl," they wrote in a tweet in response to Scarry's tweet.

After Scarry deleted his tweet, it disappeared from Ocasio-Cortez's response. Not to be defeated, the congresswoman-elect posted a screen grab of it, calling him out for not apologizing.

"Oh, does @eScarry think he can delete his misogyny without an apology? I don’t think so. You’re a journalist - readers should know your bias," she wrote above the screen grab.

At 7:40 p.m. Thursday, about three hours after he posted the tweet with the picture, Scarry defended the decision to delete it.

"ATTN! I posted a tweet earlier suggesting the incoming congresswoman looked well put together -- ELEGANT even -- despite suggestions she’s struggled. The tweet was taken as something else, so I’ve deleted it!" he wrote.

But Twitter users had already begun repurposing Scarry's words and turning them into memes, featuring pictures of model Kendall Jenner in the world's largest puffy coat, and the Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty, among others.

The wardrobe windfall wasn't the only Twitter tussle that Ocasio-Cortez has delved into since arriving in D.C. for freshman orientation.

On Wednesday, she wrote that "People keep giving me directions to the spouse and intern events instead of the ones for members of Congress," capping it off with a face-palm emoji.

She received some support from fellow New York Democratic Rep. Grace Meng, who empathized with having faced similar treatment when she was elected.

"I STILL get stopped in the halls and confused for a spouse or an intern. This is what happens when you're a young WOC in Congress -- but it shouldn't. I'm excited you're here, @Ocasio2018! Let's work to make this the new normal," Meng wrote.

Even still, Twitter user Arthur Schwartz, who is friends with Anthony Scaramucci and came under fire after taking a jab at former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, questioned Ocasio-Cortez's account and tweeted that she was a "#liar."

But Ocasio-Cortez clapped back, telling him exactly where it had happened.

Ocasio-Cortez's week has been turbulent offline too, as she has entered the fray over the Democratic Speakership race by stopping by a protest in Nancy Pelosi's office. She has also addressed blowback over questions about her savings after telling the New York Times she was trying to figure out how to afford an apartment in D.C. before her congressional salary kicks in.