“Um, either, you know.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a House hearing Tuesday tried to grill Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan over his bank’s supposed role in destroying the environment and “caging” migrant children.
However, her accusations were often vague and inaccurate, and Sloan easily shot them down – repeatedly leaving the New York Democrat stumbling over her words and looking to change the subject.
At one point during her questioning, Ocasio-Cortez sought to hold the executive accountable for what she said were leaks in pipelines that Wells Fargo financed. She claimed that “Keystone XL, in particular, had once leaked 210,000 gallons across South Dakota.”
WATCH: ‘Bimbo’ Ocasio-Cortez Tries to Explain Socialism: ‘Because, You Know, Whatever’
“Why shouldn’t the bank be held responsible for financing the cleanup of the disasters of these projects?” Ocasio-Cortez asked.
“Which pipeline are you referring to?” Sloan responded.
“Um, either, you know,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“So, we were not involved in the financing of the XL pipeline,” the CEO pointed out. “We were one of the 17 or 19 banks that was involved in the financing of the Dakota Access pipeline.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded: “So, Wells Fargo hasn’t financed any company associated with the Keystone XL pipeline?”
“No, I didn’t say that,” Sloan said. “I said we’re not involved in financing that pipeline specifically.”
Sloan – who was called to testify before the House Financial Services committee to account for Well Fargo’s 2016 fake accounts scandal, as well as subsequent handling of customers during his tenure – could also have noted that the Keystone XL pipeline has not yet been built, and therefore cannot have leaked.
The freshman congresswoman may have been thinking of the Keystone pipeline, which has been operating since 2010 and leaked 9,700 barrels of oil in South Dakota in November 2017. Initial estimates of the size of the leak were a lesser 210,000 gallons.
TransCanada, the company that runs the pipeline and gets financing from Wells Fargo, finished repairing and cleaning up the leak by early 2018. Environmental activists have used the incident to rally sometimes-violent opposition to construction of the new pipeline.
The Keystone XL pipeline has been tied up in court since President Donald Trump green-lit the project in 2017. It would bring oil sands from Canada to Nebraska, where it would connect to the existing pipeline.
Shifting focus, Ocasio-Cortez asked if Wells Fargo should be held responsible for the effects of climate change “due to the financing of these projects.”
Sloan said he was unsure how such costs would be calculated.
In addition to the pipeline issue, Ocasio-Cortez – who has repeatedly called for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement – accused the bank of “financing the caging of children” by providing funds to two firms that run detention facilities used by the government. She was referring to the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border under Trump’s immigration policy.
Sloan said: “I’m not familiar with the specific assertion that you are making, but we weren’t involved with that.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded: “These companies run private detention facilities run by ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], which is involved in caging children but I’ll move on.”
The freshman congresswoman has a history of fudging facts to fit her left-wing agenda, including when it comes to the environment and immigration. In response to critics, she has argued that she’s unfairly targeted, and that anyway, it’s more important that she’s “morally right.”
WATCH: Jordan Peterson Clashes With Feminist Australian MP over Female Representation in Government