Rep. Alexandira Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti will be leaving her office after a series of controversies, according to The Intercept.
“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,” Corbin Trent, Ocasio-Cortez director of communications told The Intercept on Friday, Aug. 2.
Chakrabarti last month made statements that infuriated moderate Democrats and ignited an uproar inside the House Democratic Caucus during policy spats between progressive members and party leadership.
In June, Chakrabarti attacked Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas), one of the first Native American women to enter Congress, accusing her of enabling “a racist system” after she voted in favor of a Senate border bill not backed by progressives. A month later, he cast centrist Democrats as the “new Southern Democrats.”
Critics argued Chakrabarti’s rhetoric was highlighting divisions within the party after the House Democratic Caucus responded to his accusations. “Who is this guy and why is he explicitly singling out a Native American woman of color? Her name is Congresswoman Davids, not Sharice,” the The House Democratic Caucus’s official tweeted last month. “Keep Her Name Out Of Your Mouth.”
Chakrabarti had previously worked at Justice Democrats, a liberal group that recruited Ocasio-Cortez to run for office. She went onto defeat Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) and won a seat in Congress that made her a political superstar.
However, Chakrabarti and Ocasio-Cortez were subject to a number of complaints by Federal Election Commission (FEC) that accused them of violating campaign finance laws, reported the Fox News.
Chakrabarti’s exit follows a meeting between Ocasi-Cortez and Pelosi where the speaker tried to defuse escalating tensions and divisions between Democratic leadership and the far-left flank of the party.