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NYC Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries doesn’t feel loved by the left

The far left wing of the Democratic Party has no love for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the favorite to become House minority leader.

The Democrat, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens, is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus — but unlike more radical members of his party, he doesn’t support police defunding and supports Israel.

He had tried to distance himself from the “hard left”, telling The Atlantic last year: “There will never be a moment when I bow the knee to hard left democratic socialism.”

And he said during an interview in 2021 that “the far left is obsessed with talking trash about mainstream Democrats on Twitter when the majority of the electorate in the election is mainstream Democrats.”

State Senator Jabari Brisport, a Socialist representing Brooklyn, trashed the five-term representative last week. tweet that “Hakeem Jeffries formed Team Blue PAC ‘to defend incumbents facing primary challenges.'”

A picture of State Senator Jabari Brisport.
Sen. Jabari Brisport Brisport said Rep. Jeffries “decided to back against an incumbent progressive state senator[Robert Jackson].”
Getty Images

He went on to say that Jeffries used the PAC this year “to tip the scales” against progressive Sen. Alessandra Biaggi’s main challenge against Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. Maloney went on to lose his seat to Republican Mike Lawler in a major defeat for the party.

Brisport added that Jeffries “has decided to back against an incumbent progressive state senator (Robert Jackson)” and that “Democrats who lie about their intentions to attack the party’s left wing should not be confirmed as leaders.”

He declined to comment further on the tweets. Biaggi did not respond to a request for comment.

A screenshot of Senator Jabari Brisport's Twitter account.
Sen. Jabari Brisport blasted Rep. Jeffries on Twitter.
@JabariBisport/Twitter

Other radical Dem observers took Jeffries to task for his support for Israel and his stance on the environment.

“Strange how he understands the need to stand behind an outsider like Ukraine in protecting citizens, but doesn’t seem to understand why the Palestinians would deserve the same kind of support in their fight against the State of Israel,” the progressive said Activist Patrick Bobilin.

Camille Rivera, a partner at consulting firm New Deal Strategies, said Jeffries “hasn’t really delved into issues like (the) Green New Deal.”

A picture of Leonard Jeffries Jr.
Rep. Jeffries is the nephew of Leonard Jeffries, former chair of the Black Studies department at City College.
Getty Images

“He has progressive roots but has isolated himself on climate issues, which worries some people,” Rivera said.

Jeffries has also raised eyebrows as the nephew of Leonard Jeffries, the former chair of City College’s Black Studies Department, who in the 1990s attacked whites as “ice people” and Jews as financiers of the slave trade. Police said he disagreed with many of his uncle’s theories.

Jeffries’ bad blood with the left reportedly stems from his 2018 victory over the Progressives’ election of Rep. Barbara Lee of California as leader of the Democratic caucus.

A picture of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she and her group of Justice Democrats are working to remove incumbents, including Jeffries.
CNN

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came out shortly after her own victory in 2018 and said she and her group of Justice Democrats were working to unseat incumbents like Jeffries, according to a report. No primary challenge has occurred.

Asked about his split with the “far left” and AOC’s recent claim that the caucus needs “healing,” Jeffries said on CNN this week that he has “great respect” for Ocasio-Cortez and that Democrats are “constant.” been able to get together again and again.”

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