WASHINGTON, D.C., February 4, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has become the center of yet another controversy pertaining to the Capitol Hill riot of January 6, this time over allegations that she misrepresented her own personal experience that day to garner sympathy for herself.
While at her desk in her office in the Cannon House building, she says she heard a “violent” banging on her office doors, and after being told to “run and hide” by her legislative director, she hid in the bathroom. Then, she says, she heard that the person who banged on her doors had gotten inside and was yelling “where is she?”
“This was the moment where I thought everything was over,” Ocasio-Cortez says of the moment the bathroom door started to open.
In fact, the “intruder” turned out to be a Capitol Hill police officer who was evacuating the building (along with the Madison congressional office building). Eventually, she says, she and her legislative director sheltered in the office of Rep. Katie Porter, D-California. Before connecting with Porter, AOC claims the sound of rioters trying to break in grew steadily louder.
“The reason I’m getting emotional in this moment is because these folks who tell us to move on, that it’s not a big deal, that we should forget what’s happened, or even telling us to apologize — these are the same tactics of abusers,” she added. “And I’m a survivor of sexual assault and I haven’t told many people that in my life, but when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other.”
While few would deny that the events Ocasio-Cortez describes would be frightening prior to the officer identifying himself, conservatives quickly took issue with efforts to reframe the story as her having been in actual danger sparked by her Republican colleagues and former President Donald Trump:
The real story is that AOC was in her office and then a cop came and told her to evacuate. The end. That was her entire involvement in that day's events. She managed to turn that into a harrowing tale of narrowly avoiding death at the hands of assassins sent by Ted Cruz.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) February 4, 2021
Others highlighted apparent discrepancies between the timing of AOC’s story and when the “storming” of the Capitol actually began:
At 1:01 pm, in a building without security barricades and 11 minutes before Trump finished speaking
AOC says she heard banging on her door and thought it was them getting inside but this is an hour before anyone breeched the Capitol building. https://t.co/e2wWDwTL61
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) February 4, 2021
The Daily Caller added that Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina responded to Ocasio-Cortez by noting that her own office was two doors down, and “insurrectionists never stormed our hallway.” Ocasio-Cortez shot back by noting that Mace had previously acknowledged barricading herself in her office out of fear. Mace responded:
I have not once discounted your fear. We were ALL terrified that day.
I’m stating the fact that insurrectionists were never in our hallway… because they weren’t. I deal in facts. Unlike you, apparently. https://t.co/S6CWasKNpY
— Nancy Mace (@NancyMace) February 4, 2021
AOC also accused Mace of “minimiz(ing)” the experiences of abuse survivors, despite Mace herself being a rape survivor:
But now, in typical @AOC fashion, you’re making this political, even going as far as saying I don’t “hear” victims of assault — ME, of all people. You don’t know my story. SMH. Just stop it. https://t.co/Hrhg33gble
— Nancy Mace (@NancyMace) February 4, 2021
At Newsweek, Drew Holden added that AOC asked in the video, “Was (the police officer) trying to actually put us in a vulnerable situation?”
If true, “it would be hard to overstate the significance,” Holden wrote. But if not true, “would mean that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez…impugned the honor of those who bled and died to keep her and her colleagues safe. To have that hurtful conspiracy promoted by an elected member of Congress is unconscionable.”
None of the controversy has persuaded the congresswoman to rethink her approach, however. On Thursday evening, Ocasio-Cortez is slated to take part in a special session where Members of Congress will “recount their experiences of the January 6 Capitol attacks.”
Lawmakers will share their personal stories of the Jan. 6 attack on the House floor tonight.
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) February 4, 2021
Last week, AOC (who as recently as December defended Black Lives Matter rioters on the grounds that the “whole point of protesting is to make ppl (sic) uncomfortable”) falsely accused Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, of “trying to get me killed” by opposing certification of the 2020 presidential election.