Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was holding a private meeting with Bronx community leaders. During the meeting, she bashed US foreign policy upsetting two military veterans who then stormed out.
“She knocks the president, and she knocks the country. And that’s not what this country is about,” said Vietnam War vet and treasurer of Community Board 11 Silvio Mazzella.
Anthony Vitaliano is an Army vet; for 38 years he worked for the NYPD. Commander of the Bronx’s homicide detectives was sitting in between AOC and her chief of staff.
“I just couldn’t hear her BS anymore,” said the former chairman of CB11. “I got up, grabbed my umbrella, and walked right out.”
AOC held a small closed-door meeting with about twelve members of the board on Wednesday night, marking a rare visit to her part of the district, the Bronx.
A Middle Eastern board member brought up the issue of the conflict in Yemen. AOC slammed the US policy of providing bombs to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has supported Yemen in a civil war, according to attendees. Other attendees blamed her for leaving out the roles of other nations in explaining the volatile region’s violence.
“What turned me off completely was her talking about America,” said Mazzella, 74, who fought in Vietnam from 1966 to 1968.
Later in the meeting Israel came up, AOC suggested Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump are autocrats. According to an attendee who does not wish to be named but was present at the meeting. Continuing to say, “I was revolted,” and that he, Mazzella and Vitaliano all walked out in disgust before the end of the session.
There were complaints about the USPS and how they regularly miss mail deliveries. Also about a local Amtrak property that seems to be a huge magnet for graffiti vandalism. This district is a working-class neighborhood on the eastern side of the Bronx.
AOC caring about the problems? Vitaliano said, “She wrote them down.” She beat around the bush after the question of Columbus Day, for which the neighborhood holds a parade every year, said Vitaliano. He, who supports creating a day for indigenous people but wants to preserve the treasured Italian-American tradition.
AOC’s office dismissed and denied that anyone stormed out of the meeting, “There was only one individual that left the meeting while it was in session. That, someone, had to go pick up their child,” said Ocasio-Cortez spokesman C. Trent.
Asked about Trent’s comment, Vitaliano said, “That’s bulls%&t. Everybody that was there knows I walked out.”