Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and her minions in the media clipped a 5-minute video of a House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday which quickly went viral — but excluded a follow-up response that put a damper on Ocasio-Cortez’s pontificating.
In a video shared on Twitter by actor James Corden, and retweeted by Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old politician used the opportunity at the hearing to promote her anti-establishment brand.
Ocasio-Cortez claimed that it was “already super legal, as we’ve seen, for me to be a pretty bad guy,” as she questioned several people about what she was allowed to do with her “special-interest, dark-money-funded campaign” money.
The video was retweeted over 350,000 times in under 24 hours and was viewed over 19 million times.
The video conveniently did not include the follow-up response by IFS Chairman Bradley A. Smith, who was asked by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) to correct the record on a line of misleading questioning by Ocasio-Cortez.
Below is Smith’s response to Ocasio-Cortez.
Full transcript from Ocasio-Cortez’s 5-minute time slot:
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Thank you, Chair. So, let’s play a game. Let’s play a lightning-round game. I’m gonna be the bad guy which I’m sure half the room would agree with anyway and I want to get away with as much bad things as possible ideally to enrich myself and advance my interests even if that means putting my interests ahead of the American people.
So, Mrs. Hobert Flynn — Oh, and by the way, I have enlisted all of you as my co-conspirators. So you’re gonna help me legally get away with all of this. So, Mrs. Hobert Flynn, I want to run. If I want to run a campaign that is entirely funded by corporate political action committees, is there anything that legally prevents me from doing that?
So, there’s nothing stopping me from being entirely funded by corporate PACs, say, from the fossil-fuel industry, the healthcare industry, Big Pharma. I’m entirely 100% lobbyist PAC-funded. Okay. So, let’s say I’m a really, really bad guy. And let’s say I have some skeletons in my closet that I need to cover up so that I can get elected.
Mr. Smith, is it true that you wrote this article, this opinion piece for “The Washington Post” entitled “payments to women were unseemly, that doesn’t mean they were illegal”?
SMITH: Well, I can’t see the piece, but I wrote a piece under that headline in “The Post,” so I assume that’s right.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Okay. Great.
So, green light for hush money. I can do all sorts of terrible things. It’s totally legal right now for me to pay people off, and that is considered speech. That money is considered speech. So, I use my special-interest, dark-money-funded campaign to pay off folks that I need to pay off and get elected.
So, now I’m elected. Now I’m in. I’ve got the power to draft, lobby, and shape the laws that govern the United States of America.
Now, is there any hard limit that I have, perhaps Mrs. Hobert Flynn — is there any hard limit that I have in terms of what legislation I’m allowed to touch? Are there are any limits on the laws that I can write or influence, especially if I’m — based on the special-interest funds that I accepted to finance my campaign and get me elected in the first place?
FLYNN: There’s no limit.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: So, there’s none. So I can be totally funded by oil and gas. I can be totally funded by Big Pharma, come in, write Big Pharma laws, and there’s no limits to that whatsoever?
FLYNN: That’s right.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Okay. So, awesome. Now, Mr. Mehrbani, the last thing I want to do is get rich with as little work possible. That’s really what I’m trying to do as the bad guy, right? So, is there anything preventing me from holding stocks, say, in an oil or gas company and then writing laws to de-regulate that industry and cause — you know, that could potentially cause the stock value to soar and accrue a lot of money in that time?
MEHRBANI: You could do that.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: So, I could do that. I could do that now with the way our current laws are set up?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Oh, okay. Great. Okay, so, my last question is — or one of my last questions, I guess I’d say, is, is it possible that any elements of this story apply to our current government and our current public servants right now?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: So, we have a system that is fundamentally broken. We have these influences existing in this body, which means that these influences are here in this committee, shaping the questions that are being asked of you all right now. Would you say that that’s correct, Mr. Mehrbani or Mr. Shaub?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: All right. So, one last thing, Mr. Shaub — in relation to congressional oversight that we have, the limits that are placed on me as a congresswoman, compared to the executive branch and compared to, say, the President of the United States, would you say that Congress
has the same sort of standard of accountability? Is there more teeth in that regulation in Congress on the president, or would you say it’s about even or more so on the federal?
SHAUB: In terms of laws that apply to the president, yeah, there’s almost no laws at all that apply to the president.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: So, I’m being held and every person in this body’s being held to a higher ethical standard than the President of the United States?
SHAUB: That’s right ’cause there are some Ethics Committee rules that apply to you. And it’s already super legal, as we’ve seen, for me to be a pretty bad guy. So it’s even easier for the President of the United States to be one, I would assume.
SHAUB: That’s right. Thank you very much.
Here is Smith’s response to Ocasio-Cortez:
There are a couple things for example that would not be, she asked if there is anything that could apply here? There are things that do not apply here. For example, the whole point of the article she held up that I wrote was that you cannot use your campaign funds to make those payments that would be illegal personal use. Campaign funds are not dark money. They are totally disclosed so they are not dark money. It’s worth noting be the way that dark money constituted by $1.7 billion, I believe that figure is incorrect by factor of about 500%. Dark money constitutes 2% to 4% of total spending in U.S. elections and has always been involved in U.S. elections. Those are just a couple of points. I did kind of chuckle at the question is it possible, asked of us, that these influences are, this money is influencing the questioning here. To that, I’d say that is something you have to ask yourselves, if you are being influenced, then see what you think. If you are then you might question yourselves, if you’re not you might question this hearing.