When pro-Trump supporters breached the Capitol a week ago, many noted that progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was unusually absent from Twitter and hadn’t confirmed she was safe during the riot. She eventually would post that she was okay on social media that evening, but in a new Instagram video last night, AOC admitted the truth behind her initial absent: She wasn’t safe the entire time. In fact, she was afraid she would be killed.
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AOC described the riots as “a pretty traumatizing event,” going on to say, “I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die.” Ocasio-Cortez added that she couldn’t get into specifics due to security reasons. “I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive. Not just in a general sense, but in a very, very specific sense.”
The Congresswoman added that she did not feel safe staying with other lawmakers in the protected “extraction point” because “there were QAnon and white-supremacist sympathizers and, frankly, white-supremacist members of Congress in that extraction point who I know and who I have felt would disclose my location and would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, et cetera. So I didn’t even feel safe around other members of Congress.”
She said that generally, it is “not an exaggeration” to say that many members of Congress were “nearly assassinated.” AOC confirmed that some members of the U.S. Capitol Police seemed to side with the pro-Trump rioters, saying it was hard to trust the unit as a whole with her safety. “Not know(ing) if an officer is there to help you or harm you is also quite traumatizing,” she said.
In the video, AOC condemned some of her GOP colleagues, including Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, for their role encouraging the rioters and generally inciting them by refusing the accept the results of a legitimate presidential election and attempting to overturn them.
“This isn’t about the truth to them,” she said. “This is about whether they want to be president in 2024. Let me give you a sneak peek: You will never be president.”
“What claim will you have? That you rule over a destroyed society? That the ashes belong to you? Let me give you a sneak peek, you will never be president. You will never command the respect of this country, never.”
In light of a Capitol police officer dying in the riot, AOC said, “I don’t want to see the Republican Party talk about blue lives ever again. This was never about safety for them. It was always a slogan. Because if they actually care about the rule of law they would speak up when people break the law.”
Ocasio-Cortez also addressed her current health status in the video, saying she still remains traumatized by what happened. “My body and my brain have been out of work,” she said. For the two days after the riots, “I just slept a lot more than I usually sleep, and that to me is telling me that my body is going through something and my brain is trying to heal.”
You can watch her full video below:
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News and Strategy Editor
Alyssa Bailey is the news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton).
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