“A great student of the environment — I don’t think she ever took an environmental course in college,” the president said. “She did go to college, right?”
Ms Ocasio-Cortez graduated from Boston University with degrees in economics and international relations.
On Twitter she hit back at the president in a response to a tweet from the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman that quoted his remarks.
“I could say yes, but who cares? Plenty of people without college degrees could run this country better than Trump ever has,” she said.
“As much as GOP cry about ‘elites,’ they’re the ones who constantly mock food service workers, people w/o degrees, etc as dumb. It’s classist & disgusting,” she added.
Ironically, Trump had questioned her college attendance at a rally in which he hopes to boost turnout of non-college-educated voters.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez continued her response in a follow-up tweet, saying that she has hired people without college degrees whose work has been “incredible”.
“The more college costs soar, the more degrees become a measure [of] privilege than competence. Our country would be better off if we made public colleges tuition-free & cancelled student loan debt,” she said.
As one of the leading voices in Congress on climate change and introduced the set of policy proposals known as the Green New Deal, Ms Ocasio-Cortez is a favourite target of the president.
At the second presidential debate, Trump said that she and with her fellow “Squad” members Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, “know nothing about the climate” leading all four of them to clap back on Twitter.
Ms Pressley joked that they live “rent free” in his head.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies