Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said that she thought she would be killed during the January 6 raid on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.
The Democratic congresswoman – a lightning rod for the president and his followers – said during an Instagram Live broadcast that she could not go into detail about her harrowing time inside the Capitol, due to security concerns.
But she said she had had a ‘very close encounter’ with the insurrectionists during which, she said, ‘I thought I was going to die.’
She added: ‘I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive.’
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday night held an Instagram Live session with her fans
AOC spoke of her horror as the Capitol came under attack, and members of the House (pictured) cowered in fear inside the chamber
Capitol Police with guns drawn stand near a barricaded door as rioters try to break into the House chamber
She said: ‘I didn’t even feel safe going to that extraction point because there were QAnon and white supremacist members of Congress who I felt would disclose my location and create opportunities to allow me to be hurt,’ she said, adding that she ‘didn’t feel safe around other members of Congress.’
The 31-year-old said that some of her colleagues had invited their children into Congress that day, and they were exposed to the trauma.
The rioters pummeled the door of the House chamber, with the politicians inside. The Senate chamber was breached, when the Senators had been safely evacuated, but the House was not.
One of those trying to force her way in, Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran from California, was shot and killed by Capitol Police during the mayhem.
‘It is not an exaggeration to say that many, many members of the House were nearly assassinated,’ said Ocasio-Cortez.
‘It’s just not an exaggeration to say that at all. We were very lucky that things happened within certain minutes. That allowed members to escape the gap, the House floor unharmed.
‘But many of us merely narrowly escaped death. And it’s also extremely traumatizing.’
Members of congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House chamber
People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into their chamber
Those inside the House were given gas masks as protection during the insurrection
The New Yorker praised the police officers who managed to repel the invaders, saying they were on the frontline of the fight against white supremacy, and speaking of her dismay in seeing rioters running through the Capitol waving the Confederate flag.
‘There were also black and brown officers that were confronting white supremacists and putting themselves, not just to protect members, but they put themselves in harm’s way,’ she said.
‘On the front line, facing the racist violence.’
But, continuing, she said she believed some of the Capitol Police were working with the rioters.
On Monday Tim Ryan, the Ohio congressman leading the investigation into the riots, said one member of the Capitol Police had been arrested.
Two were also suspended – one for taking a selfie with a rioter; another for putting on a MAGA hat and appearing to show the frenzied mob around.
‘There were those acts of heroism. But next to that there was also acts of betrayal.
‘And to run in the Capitol, in our nation’s capital, and not know if an officer is there to help you or to harm you – it’s also quite traumatizing.’
The mob overran the Capitol Police shortly after Trump urged them to ‘fight’ on his behalf
Trump supporters, egged on by the president himself, stormed the Capitol on Wednesday
A mob roamed the corridors of Congress – AOC suspected with help from the GOP and police
A Capitol Police officer who posed for a selfie with a rioter (above) has been suspended
The MAGA mob holding down a cop and beating him with a baton on Wednesday in a shocking new video still. The officer shown has not been identified yet. It’s unclear if he is either of the cops who died. One was beaten with a fire extinguisher, according to police sources, and the other committed suicide after the riot
Ocasio-Cortez was among the first members of Congress to call for Trump to be impeached for a second time for inciting the riot and pushed back against Republicans over the weekend for claiming such a move would imperil unity.
‘The process of healing is separate and in fact requires accountability,’ she told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, ‘because without it, it will happen again.’
On Tuesday she rounded on those who were resigning after the event.
‘I have a message for anyone who is resigning after Wednesday,’ she said.
‘Too late, too late. You’re not gonna resign after Wednesday and act like you weren’t a part of it.’
The Leftist firebrand also had strong words for the Congressmen who supported Trump’s desire to overthrow the election, accusing them of having a ‘lust for power’.
‘I want to be clear, to Senator Ted Cruz,’ she said. ‘You do not belong in the United States Senate.
‘I want to be clear, to Senator Josh Hawley. You do not belong in the United States Senate.
‘You do not belong in any democratically elected seat. When you do when you do not believe that that election was even legitimate according to your self serving claims.’