Nancy Pelosi backs Rep. Engel after AOC endorses Democratic challenger

Illustrating the divide in the Democratic Party, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has endorsed 16-term incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel (D-Bronx) after progressive darling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez threw her weight behind his challenger, Jamaal Bowman.

“I firmly support Eliot Engel for Congress and I support Alexandria for Congress as well,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday. “I think the people of New York are very blessed to have them both in the Congress.”

On Wednesday, the Bronx-Queens congresswoman, who goes by her initials, AOC, on social media, used a series of tweets to announce she was endorsing Bowman, 44, a former middle school principal backed by the left-leaning Justice Democrats — meaning she was trying to oust Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.