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Top aides to Ocasio-Cortez are leaving her congressional office

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By Alex Moe and Rebecca Shabad  with NBC News Politics
Image: Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., at a news conference on Capito
Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., at a news conference on Capitol Hill on July 15, 2019.   -   Copyright  Erin Scott Reuters file

WASHINGTON — Two top aides to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., are leaving her congressional office, the freshman lawmaker said in a statement Friday.

Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, and Corbin Trent, her communications director, are departing, her statement said. Trent is joining the congresswoman's campaign and Chakrabarti plans to join New Consensus, a non-profit that is promoting Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal proposal.

The Intercept was first to report that Chakrabarti and Trent were leaving her office.

"With the Ocasio2020 campaign beginning to ramp up, I've asked Corbin to transition to the campaign full-time and he has agreed to do so. I'm looking forward to growing the movement with him in Queens and the Bronx and across the country," Ocasio-Cortez said.

She also said she was grateful to Chakrabarti for his work in her office and on her campaign.

"From his co-founding of Justice Democrats to his work on the campaign and in the official office, Saikat's goal has always been to do whatever he can to help the larger progressive movement, and I look forward to continuing working with him to do just that," she said.

The departures come after Chakrabarti compared moderate Blue Dog Democrats to segregationists on Twitter during tensions between members of the caucus over a border aid measure.

"They certainly seem hell-bent to do black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s," Chakrabarti wrote on Twitter. He later deleted the tweet.

Before the congressional recess, Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez met one-on-one to clear the air following the tensions.