Published on November 16, 2019 by Jon Levine

Rep. Elise Stefanik and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are both Congresswomen from New York and at varying points were the youngest members of the House of Representatives — but that’s where the similarities end.

“I am proudly the opposite of AOC,” Stefanik told The Post.

The 35-year-old Republican, who represents a vast district north of Albany that stretches to the Canadian border, says she met the Queens socialist briefly.

“I’ve had one conversation with her when we were in the elevator,” Stefanik said. “I said, ‘Hi, I’m Elise … She had a staffer with her. I didn’t want to engage.”

AOC, 30, will surely take notice of Stefanik now. Once a relatively unknown junior legislator, Stefanik rocketed to conservative stardom this week during theDemocratic impeachment hearings. In oneparticularly viral moment, she called out House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for being in favor of the Trump whistleblower testifying — before he was against it. To make the case, she reeled off a dozen or more of Schiff’sown past statementson the matter.

Stefanik’s pugilistic style sparked criticism from liberal corners — even among the media.

“Elise Stefanik is a perfect example of why just electing someone because they are a woman or a millennial doesn’t necessarily get you the leaders we need,” ABC News Chief Political Analyst Matthew Dowd said in a tweet Wednesday.

He laterapologized and deleted the post, saying he had been misunderstood. (Dowd has continued to retweet critical and disparaging comments about Stefanik throughout the week.)

“Were this something that were lobbed against a Democratic person, this person would have had to resign,” the Harvard-educated Stefanik told The Post Saturday. “ABC should issue an apology on his behalf, and they should strongly consider taking action because he is their chief political correspondent, and it is outrageous and shameful.”

She added, “He finally apologized just straightforward, and I said, ‘apology accepted,’ but this is why more young women don’t run for office.”

During the impeachment hearings, Stefanik said plans to hear from the whistleblower in a closed-door session were nixed after news emerged that the individual had met with members of the committee’s Democratic staff.

“Adam Schiff was adamant about the whistleblower testifying, Speaker Pelosi said she supported the whistleblower testifying. They only changed that statement when it became clear there was coordination with the whistleblower and Adam Schiff staffers,” Stefanik told The Post. “I was the first member to ask when did Adam Schiff have access to the whistleblower.


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“It’s big deal because before this person was a whistleblower, they were coordinating with Democratic staff members who turned them into a whistleblower and advised them about the process,” she added. “The political rollout and communications rollout was just so orchestrated.”

During earlier testimony Friday from former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, Stefanik sparred with Schiff over his attempt to prevent her from asking questions after the committee’s ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes attempted to yield his time to her.

“Adam Schiff is making up the rules as he goes,” she told The Post. “It is quite clear that Adam Schiff does not like hearing the facts when I lay them out but that’s his problem not mine.”

She also dismissed Schiff’s claim that President Trump’stweeted attackon Yovanovitch during the hearing — saying everywhere she served “turned bad” — was “witness intimidation.” But she did concede it was a mistake.

“I disagreed with the tweet. I think the tweet was wrong,” she said.

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