Ocasio-Cortez bashes Politico article as 'birdcage lining'

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on  Tuesday afternoon took aim at a mainstream news article, dismissing it as “gossip.”

She tweeted: “One disappointment about DC is the gossip that masquerades as ‘reporting.’ This story has: - Not a SINGLE named or verifiable source - Only ONE on-the-record comment, which is a denial. My dad had a name for junk articles like this: ‘Birdcage lining.’”

The tweet was attached to a Politico story titled,: “Ocasio-Cortez weighs a new primary target: Hakeem Jeffries. Jeffries, the newly elected No. 5 Democrat in the House, has drawn criticism from the left since the party's leadership elections.”

The news outlet’s vice president of marketing and communications, Brad Dayspring, stood by Politico’s journalism: “It’s hard to know what the criticism of the piece is, since the congresswoman-elect doesn’t specify (nor has she or anyone from her staff asked for a correction). We stand by our reporting.”

The article claimed the Democratic socialist from the Bronx “has recruited an African-American woman to challenge Jeffries, who was just elected ... as caucus chairman — the No. 5 House Democratic leadership position.”

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Democrats recently elected fresh faces to lower-level leadership jobs, including Jeffries, who is in his 40s and is viewed by some as a rising star.

The article, citing anonymous sources, claimed Jeffries was seen as too conservative for a far-left group called Justice Democrats, seeking future bids to run primary candidates against moderate Democrats in coming elections.

Jeffries responded to the challenge in Politico, saying, "It’s a free country and democracy is a beautiful thing.”

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Ocasio-Cortez, together with other newly elected lawmakers, is set to start her term on Jan. 3.

Fox News' Brian Flood contributed to this report.