Friday, July 12, 2019 12:52 PM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is getting support from an unlikely source — the president — in her fight with freshmen Democrats.
Republican Donald Trump is defending top Democrat Pelosi and says Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York should treat Pelosi "with respect" — in Trump's words.
Trump also says Pelosi is "not a racist."
Ocasio-Cortez has accused Pelosi of "singling out" her and fellow freshmen - all women of color - for criticism.
Tensions between Pelosi and some younger, more progressive first-term House Democrats have become public recently and it's threatening party unity.
Just last month, as House Democrats clamored for impeachment proceedings against Trump, the president told Fox News Channel that Pelosi was a "nasty, vindictive, horrible" person.
The California Democrat later said of Trump: "I'm done with him."