“The Squad”: How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar got their nickname

Long before President Trump’s racist tweets caused an uproar in Washington, the four Democratic congresswomen he was targeting already had a reputation of their own as “the Squad.” But how did Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar come to get that nickname?

“CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King asked them about it during her exclusive interview with the group. Here’s what they said:

KING: Do you like being called “the Squad” and where did that come from? I’ve been looking, nobody can tell me the answer to that.

PRESSLEY: I will offer the genesis of this because again it’s nothing conspiratorial. Very organic. None of us had met. I mean I had actually, Alex and I had met once before. And we showed up at new member orientation. We were asked to do an interview because we each represent firsts in our own right. So we did this interview and at the end of the interview, they said, “Will you all take a picture?” And we took a picture.

GAYLE KING: It was just the four of you?

AYANNA PRESSLEY: Yes, because we were the four being interviewed as firsts. And at the end of that interview, we took the photo and I’m not sure who said it, but just —


AYANNA PRESSLEY: But just within the context of social media culture, said, “Oh let’s just do a #SquadGoals or something.”

RASHIDA TLAIB: It was “Squad Goals.”

AYANNA PRESSLEY: It was “Squad Goals.” And then it morphed into this thing. But I said, I’ve been saying in the days leading up to this moment, that the reality is that anyone, to your point about it’s not just about dismantling, but what we’re intentional about building and fostering. Anyone who is committed to the work of building a more equitable and just world is a part of the squad.

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