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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar endorse Bernie Sanders for president

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's announcement in particular is seen as a boon for Sanders as he fights for votes from progressives.

Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar are endorsing Bernie Sanders for president and there is a report Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan is also endorsing him. Those women make up three-quarters of the progressive group known as "The Squad."

The Sanders campaign confirmed the news about Ocasio Cortez and Omar's endorsements Tuesday. Ocasio-Cortez will appear with Sanders at a rally Saturday.

The endorsement of Ocasio-Cortez in particular is a major boon for the 78-year-old Vermont senator, who has faced questions over his health since suffering a heart attack two weeks ago.

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The 30-year-old Ocasio-Cortez is a progressive star who notched an upset win in her 2018 primary over 10-term congressman Joe Crowley, one of the leaders in the House Democratic caucus at the time.

Both Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sanders have coveted Ocasio-Cortez's endorsement. Sanders and Warren are seen as being farther to the left than the other Democratic frontrunners. Sanders' poll numbers have been lagging in recent weeks while Warren has surged and is even leading in several recent national and early primary state polls.

Sanders hinted at Ocasio-Cortez's backing during Tuesday's Democratic debate in response to a question about his age, saying his skeptics should attend his Saturday rally featuring a "surprise guest." Ocasio-Cortez represents sections of Queens and the Bronx in Congress.

The news was first reported by The Washington Post.

Omar's endorsement was announced in a statement from the Sanders campaign.

"Bernie is leading a working class movement to defeat Donald Trump that transcends generation, ethnicity and geography," Omar said in the statement.

CNN, citing a source, reported Tlaib would also be endorsing Sanders. There was no official announcement from her or from the Sanders campaign late Tuesday night.

The fourth member of "The Squad" is Rep. Ayanna Pressley, but there is no indication if she will also endorse Sanders. She is from Massachusetts, the same state Warren is from.

"The Squad" has come under fire from President Trump in recent months and he has tried to label them the face of the Democratic party. The rhetoric between Trump and the congresswomen heated up in June when Trump sent a tweet saying, “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” While Trump did not name the women specifically, it was widely believed he was speaking of Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib and Pressley, all of whom are women of color.