Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responds to Twitter trolls – and critical NYC billboard

By Caitlin O'Kane

/ CBS News

Ocasio-Cortez on Amazon scrapping NYC HQ2

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn't let critics get to her – whether they're hiding behind a computer screen or trolling her in public. Ocasio-Cortez hit back at both Twitter trolls and a critical billboard this week, and it appears she is letting their judgements bounce right off of her.

During an appearance on Showtime's "Desus and Mero" talkshow, Ocasio-Cortez was asked about the abuse she gets from Twitter trolls and Russian bots. "When that happens, do you kind of regret getting into politics?" host Desus Nice asked the congresswoman.

"No, no. I mean, it is heavy, but in a weird way, that stuff is validation that you're doing something real, right?" Ocasio-Cortez said. "Because if you're flying under the radar, just trying to get your check, not rock the boat, then what's the point of being in politics?"

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez | DESUS & MERO | SHOWTIME by DESUS & MERO on SHOWTIME on YouTube

Ocasio-Cortez also said the memes made about her are "so weak," and threw some more shade at Twitter trolls. "How do you have a computer that runs both Windows '95 and Twitter at the same time?" she wondered.

A day before she talk show, Ocasio-Cortez was trolled by a huge billboard in Times Square. "Thanks for nothing, AOC!" the billboard read, blaming the congresswoman for Amazon's decision to scrap plans for a New York headquarters.

Morning commuters pass by an electronic billboard in Times Square displaying, "Thanks For Nothing, AOC!", referencing U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and the pullout of Amazon's HQ 2 in New York City, U.S., February 21, 2019. BRENDAN MCDERMID / REUTERS

The bottom of the billboard shows that it was created by the Texas-based group, Job Creators Network. Amazon's New York investment would have put 25,000 jobs in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, at a cost of nearly $3 billion in tax breaks. However, local activists called that a corporate giveaway, one made even less palatable by Amazon's anti-union stance.

Ocasio-Cortez cheered Amazon's decision to cancel the project. "I think it's incredible. I mean, it shows that everyday Americans still have the power to organize and fight for their communities and they can have more say in this country than the richest man in the world," she said, referring to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

The congresswoman responded to the billboard on Twitter Wednesday. "Few things effectively communicate the power we've built in fighting dark money & anti-worker policies like billionaire-funded groups blowing tons of cash on wack billboards (this one is funded by the Mercers)," she wrote. "PS fact that it's in Times Sq tells you this isn't for/by NYers," she said, commenting on the fact that Times Square is typically a tourist destination, rather than a space frequented by New York residents.

Few things effectively communicate the power we’ve built in fighting dark money & anti-worker policies like billionaire-funded groups blowing tons of cash on wack billboards (this one is funded by the Mercers).

(PS fact that it’s in Times Sq tells you this isn’t for/by NYers.) https://t.co/B4QTPi1r2k

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 21, 2019

The New Yorker, who represents the city's 14th District in the Bronx, was the first guest on Desus and Mero's new Showtime talkshow. She told the hosts, who are fellow Bronx natives, that she "keeps it 100."

Now in GIF form #DESUSandMERO pic.twitter.com/tKb4qlH7XR

— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) February 22, 2019

First published on February 22, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Times Square billboard displays statement about U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's Amazon pullout in New York City

Ocasio-Cortez responds to Twitter trolls – and NYC billboard

She called Twitter trolls' memes "so weak"

11M ago

One boy was a U.S. citizen, his twin brother wasn’t – until now

Judge rules that a twin son of a gay married couple has been an American citizen since birth, handing a defeat to the U.S. government, which had only granted the status to his brother.

18M ago

High rents create a new class of hidden homeless

As affordable housing gets harder to find, some newly homeless live out of their cars on the streets of Los Angeles

43M ago

Teachers on strike: "Public schools everywhere get shortchanged"

Oakland, California's strike is latest labor dispute as teachers across U.S. struggle with funding and student needs

1H ago

Kraft Heinz shares plunge after $15 billion write-down, investigation

Food giant's shares down 20% in after-hours trading on disclosure of a federal probe and a $15.4 billion write-down

1H ago

McCabe's lawyer says criminal investigation into him continues

Former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe was fired last year

1H ago

The Takeout: A CBS News original political podcast

“The Takeout” is a weekly podcast about politics, policy and pop culture hosted by CBS News Chief White House correspondent Major Garrett

3H ago

North Korea sees nukes, not alliances, as key to survival

Former top CIA analyst Jung Pak says this view complicates the U.S.' goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula

3H ago

Judge says prosecutors violated victim rights in Epstein case

The wealthy financier is accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls

10H ago

About 200 U.S. peacekeepers to remain in Syria

The Trump administration is not yet announcing the defeat of the caliphate, and there is no timeline for withdrawing troops

11H ago

Meet the teens ditching school worldwide to fight climate change

What could be the largest global strike ever organized will attempt to push world leaders to act aggressively on climate change

1H ago

Powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake hits Ecuador

The U.S. Geological Survey says a very powerful magnitude 7.5 earthquake has struck eastern Ecuador close to its border with Peru

2H ago

Accused U.S. spy Paul Whelan to be held by Russia 3 more months

Moscow court orders former Marine's detention extended; he denies the charges

3H ago

Father of ISIS bride sues to get U.S. to let her come back

Suit argues Hoda Muthana is an American citizen and should be allowed to return but U.S. says she's not

5H ago

About 200 U.S. peacekeepers to remain in Syria

The Trump administration is not yet announcing the defeat of the caliphate, and there is no timeline for withdrawing troops

11H ago

HBO to air controversial Michael Jackson documentary despite lawsuit

"Leaving Neverland" focuses on two men who say Jackson molested them when they were boys

2H ago

Peter Tork, Monkees bass player, has died

Tork was part of the legendary band that made its debut on TV

14H ago

Smollett gave detailed instructions for "attack," prosecutor says

The "Empire" actor pointed out a camera he thought would capture the hoax attack, prosecutor says

15H ago

Step into "The Twilight Zone" with first full trailer

"Twilight Zone" fans got one step closer to entering the fifth dimension with a clip of new footage from the Jordan Peele reboot

15H ago

Jussie Smollett: Key moments since "Empire" actor reported Chicago attack

Alleged homophobic and racially charged attack in Chicago has sprawled into nearly a month-long saga of confusing reports and contradictions

17H ago

Japanese space probe lands on far-off asteroid to get samples

Scientists say the samples could provide clues about the origin of the solar system and of life on Earth

5H ago

SpaceX launches rocket carrying privately funded Israeli moon lander

If successful, the $100M mission will put Israel in an exclusive club, joining the U.S., Soviet Union/Russia and China as only the fourth nation in space history to pull off a powered landing on the moon

11H ago

Advocates say Facebook tricked kids into in-game purchases

FTC urged to probe if the social-media company illegally enticed minors to spend money without parental consent

18H ago

YouTube axes 400+ channels over child exploitation controversy

YouTube has come under fire for allowing disturbing content, leading major companies to pull their ads

19H ago

5G explained: How it works and when we'll have it

The next generation of wireless technology will revolutionize how we use mobile devices, but it’s also fraught with technical challenges and won’t be ready for primetime anytime soon

19H ago

"Heartless": Hospital and doctor accused of giving lethal doses of fentanyl

CBS News spoke with five people who said their family members died while under Dr. William Husel's care at Mount Carmel Hospital

2H ago

Just 15 minutes of jogging a day could reduce your risk of depression

"Get outside and do something," says Dr. David Agus

20H ago

Poison control calls for kratom have soared

The herbal supplement kratom can cause side effects ranging from rapid heartbeat and agitation to seizures and even death

21H ago

Health care spending on track to eat 1 in 5 U.S. dollars

Aging baby boomers and higher prices will soon mean that 20 percent of GDP will be spent on medical care

21H ago

Cervical cancer could be eliminated in most countries by 2100

Following two recommendations could prevent millions of cases of cancer, researchers say

Feb 20

High rents create a new class of hidden homeless

As affordable housing gets harder to find, some newly homeless live out of their cars on the streets of Los Angeles

43M ago

Teachers on strike: "Public schools everywhere get shortchanged"

Oakland, California's strike is latest labor dispute as teachers across U.S. struggle with funding and student needs

1H ago

Kraft Heinz shares plunge after $15 billion write-down, investigation

Food giant's shares down 20% in after-hours trading on disclosure of a federal probe and a $15.4 billion write-down

1H ago

Reddit co-founder pushes for national paid family leave

The venture capitalist has been vocal about being an active dad to his daughter with tennis champion Serena Williams

2H ago

Pinterest IPO may come in late June

The online sharing company is said to have confidentially filed to go public, seeking a valuation of at least $12B

14H ago

El Chapo's sons charged with drug trafficking

Joaquin Guzman Lopez, 34, and Ovidio Guzman Lopez, 28, allegedly conspired to send cocaine and other drugs into the U.S.

14H ago

Coast Guard officer with alleged hit list to remain jailed

Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson was ordered held on gun and drug charges; prosecutors describe him as "domestic terrorist"

15H ago

Smollett gave detailed instructions for "attack," prosecutor says

The "Empire" actor pointed out a camera he thought would capture the hoax attack, prosecutor says

15H ago

Jussie Smollett: Key moments since "Empire" actor reported Chicago attack

Alleged homophobic and racially charged attack in Chicago has sprawled into nearly a month-long saga of confusing reports and contradictions

17H ago

Chicago's top cop blasts Smollett; Bond set at $100,000

A judge ordered him to turn in his passport

20H ago  Original Article