U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has repeatedly blamed her political opponents for various perceived hardships in her life, most recently taking aim at Twitter’s new owner.
The lawmaker has been in a public spat with Tesla CEO Elon Musk over his push to implement a monthly fee that will be required for users to maintain their verified status and enjoy other perks.
In a recent video uploaded to the social media platform, Ocasio-Cortez endorsed a conspiracy theory that Musk himself had played a role in limiting certain services related to her account.
“I was at a community event in the Bronx in Co-op City, and when I get home, I see a text from my team saying, ‘Hey, let me know if you need any help with this Elon stuff,’” she said between bites of chicken. “And I was like, ‘What?’ So I pulled up my Twitter app, and it’s like, gone. Like, when you pull up your mentions and stuff, it’s just like literally, it’s a blank screen. Totally gone. And I was like, ‘Hmm, that’s weird.’”
While temporary glitches are common on Twitter and similar sites, Ocasio-Cortez was convinced that hers was the result of interference by the platform’s owner.
“So, it turns out we got under a certain little billionaire’s skin,” she declared.
The congresswoman previously provided a similar assessment of the situation in a tweet, writing: “Also my Twitter mentions/notifications conveniently aren’t working tonight, so I was informed via text that I seem to have gotten under a certain billionaire’s skin. Just a reminder that money will never buy your way out of insecurity, folks.”
Musk waded into the dispute with a few tweets of his own, including one that sought to compare the $8 per month fee for premium Twitter services to the cost of Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign merchandise.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
Musk also weighed in after Ocasio-Cortez criticized his plan to offer premium accounts.
“Lmao at a billionaire earnestly trying to sell people on the idea that ‘free speech’ is actually an $8/mo subscription plan,” she wrote.
In response, Musk wrote: “Your feedback is appreciated, now pay $8.”
As for others who have suggested that the option of paying for a Twitter subscription somehow negates his stated commitment to free speech, Musk shared the assessment of startup founder Erik Voorhees.
“Let’s remember that [Musk] charging $8 for premium Twitter experience means Twitter becomes the product again, instead of you,” Voorhees wrote. “And if $8 is too much, you’re free to remain as the product.”