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WATCH: Wells Fargo CEO confused as Ocasio-Cortez asks about 'financing the caging of children'

“I don’t know how to answer that question because we weren’t," Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan stated.

March 13, 2019 - 12:57 pm

WASHINGTON (KMOX) — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) stumbled over her words during a congressional meeting Tuesday, after Wells Fargo chief executive Timothy Sloan responded to accusations of “financing the caging of children” at the southern U.S. border.

"Why was the bank involved in the caging of children and financing the caging of children to begin with?" Ocasio-Cortez said during the House Financial Services Committee meeting on Capitol Hill.

Sloan asserted, “I don’t know how to answer that question because we weren’t.”

"Uh, so in finan--, you've, you were financing, involved in debt financing in CoreCivic and GEO group, correct?" Ocasio-Cortez replied.

"For a period of time, we were involved in financing one of the firms, we are not anymore," Sloan responded. "I'm not familiar with the specific assertion you are making, we were not involved in that."

“These companies run private detention facilities run by ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement>, which is involved in caging children, but I’ll move on,” Ocasio-Cortez deferred.

From there, Ocasio-Cortez probed Sloan on environmentalism regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“Should Wells Fargo be held responsible for the damages incurred by climate change due to the financing of fossil fuels and these projects?" Ocasio-Cortez asked.

"I don't know how'd you calculate that, congresswoman," Sloan said.

“Say from spills, or when we have to reinvest in infrastructure building sea walls from the erosion of, um, from the erosion of infrastructure or cleanups, wildfires, etc.," Ocasio-Cortez replied.

“Related to that pipeline?” Sloan asked. “I’m not aware that there’s been any of what you’ve described that’s occurred that’s related to that pipeline.”

Talking over the end of Sloan’s sentence, Ocasio-Cortez added, “How about, uh, the clean ups from the leaks of the Dakota Access pipeline?”

Sloan reputed, “I'm not aware of the leaks associated with the Dakota Access pipeline that you're describing.”

At this point in the dialogue, Ocasio-Cortez created a scenario: "So, hypothetically, if there was a leak from the Dakota Access pipeline, why shouldn't Wells Fargo pay for the clean up of it since it paid for the construction of the pipeline itself?"

"Because we don't operate the pipeline, we provide financing to the company that's operating the pipeline," Sloan stated.

Watch the full segment here:

After the matter ended, Ocasio-Cortez turned to her Twitter audience to voice her stance.

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