Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has slammed critics who accuse her of exaggerating her experiences in the riot at the U.S. Capitol, saying they are ‘minimizing the experiences of survivors.’
Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, appeared on CBS This Morning on Friday to defend her account of the January 6 riot and slam those who suggested she’s making a ‘mountain out of a molehill’.
The controversy has spanned the week, after Ocasio-Cortez described her stark terror and fear of death in an Instagram Live video on Monday, while critics, including Republicans in the House, pointed out that she was in the Capitol’s office complex during the attack, not in the domed Capitol Building building itself.
‘You know, so many survivors fear being publicly doubted. But the fact of the matter is, is that the account is accurate,’ she said in the interview.
‘And you know, when it comes to minimizing the experiences of survivors, that is extremely damaging as well,’ Ocasio-Cortez added.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared with Rep. Jason Crow in an interview on Friday, accusing skeptics of their fear of rioters of ‘minimizing the experiences of survivors’
Ocasio-Cortez described her stark terror and fear of death in an Instagram Live video on Monday, but faced skepticism from Republican critics
AOC’s office is in the Cannon House building which is 0.3 miles from the Capitol Building itself. All of the buildings in the Capitol office complex were placed on lockdown, but the mob only ever breached the domed Capitol Building
‘I think it’s unfortunately kind of the spring to deny and to politicize our accounts with something that I sat with,’ she said.
‘And it was a big reason why, you know, on top of making sure that we could clear our story due to security concerns, there’s also a reason why I sat on my story, as well,’ the congresswoman continued.
Democrat Rep. Jason Crow appeared along side of her in support, calling attempts to cast doubt on their account of the assault ‘horrific.’
‘There’s no other way to describe it. This re-victimization, this minimization of survivors. This is a big part of the problem, and it has to stop,’ he said.
It comes after Ocasio-Cortez spoke on the House floor Thursday night in a speech dedicated to her ‘lived experience’ of the riot.
‘Sadly, less than 29 days later, with little to no accountability for the bloodshed and trauma of the 6th, some are already demanding that we move on,’ Ocasio-Cortez said. ‘Or worse, attempting to minimize, discredit or belittle the accounts of survivors.’
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke on the House floor Thursday night and pushed back at critics who tried to say she was making a ‘mountain out of a molehill’ when recounting her experience during the January 6 insurrection
Ocasio-Cortez planned a special hour of speeches on the House floor so members could share what happened to them that day
AOC has been in an argument this week with South Carolina Republican Rep. Nancy Mace after the New York Democrat went on Instagram Live on Monday night, to go on to say how terrified she was during the riot, believing, she said, that she might die.
Ocasio-Cortez recalled hiding in her office’s bathroom and hearing that someone was after her.
‘I just hear these yells of ‘Where is she? Where is she?’ Ocasio-Cortez said. ‘This was the moment where I thought everything was over. I thought I was going to die.’
The congresswoman than revealed it was a Capitol Police officer who was there to secure her office — but claimed that the cop ‘was looking at me with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility.’
‘I didn’t know if he was there to help us or hurt us,’ she said.
She ended up sheltering in place in her colleague Rep. Katie Porter’s office.
During the Instagram Live, Ocasio-Cortez also revealed she was a sexual assault survivor.
Mace slammed AOC saying that ‘insurrectionists were never in our hallway.’
Ocasio-Cortez hadn’t said that they were, only she had been frightened that they might be.
In a tweet Wednesday, AOC called out conservative critics who diminished her experience during the January 6 insurrection by pointing out she was in a Capitol office building
In a Monday night Instagram Live, AOC recounted her experience hiding in her office bathroom and fearing for her life during the January 6 insurrection
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez walks through Statuary Hall on Thursday. She led a special hour allowing her colleagues to speak on the floor about what they observed during the insurrection
Among the conservatives attacking her this week was Rep. Nancy Mace, who said there were no insurrectionists in their hallway. AOC shot back that ‘none of us knew in the moment what areas were compromised’
‘This is a deeply cynical & disgusting attack,’ Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. ‘As the Capitol complex was stormed and people were being killed, none of us knew in the moment what areas were compromised. You previously told reporters yourself that you barricaded in your office, afraid you’d be hurt.’
Ocasio-Cortez pointed to a news story where Mace had told journalists she was hiding in her Congressional office during the insurrection ‘after she voted to certify the electoral votes.’
Mace also tweeted on January 6 that she had been evacuated due to the threat.
Responding to the criticism from the right, AOC organized a special order hour where lawmakers could come to the Hosue floor Thursday night and share their experiences about January 6.
‘Tonight for this special order we will begin to hear and commit to the Congressional record just some of those many stories,’ Ocasio-Cortez said, kicking it off.
During her own turn she talked about the danger in minimizing survivors’ trauma.
‘In doing so, they not only further harm those that were there that day and provide cover for those responsible, but they also send a tremendously damaging message to survivors of trauma all across this country,’ she said. ‘As the way to deal with trauma, violence and targeting is to paper it over, minimize it and move on.’
She said this is the reason trauma victims ‘don’t get care.’
A number of AOC’s top allies chose to speak including Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Cori Bush of Missouri.
AOC ended the hour by thanking Capitol Police, food service workers and calling one of her staffers, who stayed by her side that day, a ‘hero.’
Former President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial begins next week.
He was impeached by the House just days before he left office for his role in inciting the insurrection.
Only 10 House Republicans voted with Democrats to impeach Trump.
Trump pushed the lie for months that widespread voter fraud was the reason he wasn’t getting a second term.
At a rally at the ellipse on January 6 he encouraged supporters to march on the Capitol, where Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress were gathered to certify the election results.
A MAGA mob ambushed the Capitol and five were killed, including a Capitol Police officer, in the immediate aftermath.