AOC addresses doubt about 'terrifying' Capitol riot experience: 'There was a reason I sat on my story'

AOC’s story of Capitol riot experience questioned by GOP lawmakers

FOX News contributor Miranda Devine and OutKick founder Clay Travis weigh in on ‘Fox News @ Night.’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday doubled down on her “terrifying” experience during the deadly Capitol riot after detractors accused her of exaggerating the level of danger she felt on Jan. 6. 

The New York Democrat has faced days of backlash after recounting her story during an emotional Instagram Live broadcast Monday night, during which she also revealed that she is a survivor of sexual assault. 

“It’s unfortunately kind of the spring to deny and to politicize our accounts with something that I sat with. It was a big reason why … I sat on my story,” Ocasio-Cortez said during an interview on “CBS This Morning.” “So many survivors fear being publicly doubted. But the fact of the matter is that the account is accurate.”  

During the livestream, Ocasio-Cortez explained that she was in her office in the Cannon building — which is part of the Capitol complex and is connected to the main, domed building by tunnels — when a mob of Trump supporters breached the main Capitol building. The Cannon building was also evacuated that day. 


She recalled hiding in her office bathroom and thinking she was going to die when someone entered and shouted, “Where is she?” The man turned out to be a Capitol Police officer who had not identified himself but “was looking at me with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility,” she said.

“I didn’t know if he was here to help us or hurt us,” she later added.

Critics accused Ocasio-Cortez of lying about the details of her experience, with the hashtags #AOClied and #AlexandrioaOcasioSmollett — a reference to former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett who was indicted by a grand jury for falsely reporting a hate crime — trending on Twitter.

On Thursday, Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., tweeted, “I’m two doors down from @aoc and no insurrectionists stormed our hallway.” 

Ocasio-Cortez never said that insurrectionists had stormed the Cannon building and noted that Mace had also described being scared enough to barricade herself inside her office.

“As the Capitol complex was stormed and people were being killed, none of us knew in the moment what areas were compromised,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “You previously told reporters yourself that you barricaded in your office, afraid you’d be hurt.” 

Ocasio-Cortez also revealed during the livestream that she is a survivor of sexual assault, saying that “trauma compounds on each other.”


The progressive firebrand said Friday that she chose to share that information because she wanted people to “understand why I was responding the way I did on the sixth.”

“As I was reflecting and telling the story, that context is something I kept revisiting,” she said. “I think for all of us who were there … we all bring our whole selves. And we all bring our full experiences. And when we encounter such a terrifying moment, we respond with the entirety of our life experience. And so I felt that for transparency to people, to understand why I was responding the way I did on the sixth, I had to share what I was bringing with me.”

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