Washington - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says it’s time to “lower the rhetoric” about racism.

He’s also rejecting an assertion by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that he helped further racism by not criticizing recent comments by President Donald Trump.

The Kentucky Republican says on the Fox Business Network that Ocasio-Cortez’ accusation is “nonsense.” He says he attended Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Voting Rights Act in the 1960s.

McConnell says he agrees with Trump that Ocasio-Cortez and three other young congressional Democrats want to make the U.S. socialist.

He didn’t mention Trump’s comments at a rally suggesting the four lawmakers can leave the U.S. if they’re unhappy. He also didn’t mention the crowd’s chants of “send her back,” directed at one of the Democrats, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.