Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told her Instagram audience that on the day of the Capitol riots, she was hiding in the bathroom of her office where she heard people systematically working their way down the hall, banging on doors and shouting: “Where is she? Where is she?” “This was the moment where I thought everything was over,” Ocasio-Cortez said in the emotional 90-minute video. “I thought I was going to die.”
It must have been very scary for those members of Congress and their staff who were in the Capitol building during the riot. There’s only one problem; Ocasio-Cortez’s office isn’t in the Capitol building. It’s in the Cannon House Office Building which is next door.
Oh. Did I mention the Cannon building wasn’t breached by rioters?
This is the latest manipulative take on the right.
They are manipulating the fact that most people don’t know the layout the Capitol complex.
We were all on the Capitol complex – the attack wasn’t just on the dome.
The bombs Trump supporters planted surrounded our offices too. pic.twitter.com/jI18e0XRrd
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 3, 2021
According to Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), who has an office in the same hall as AOC, two doors away, there were never any rioters in their hall so there was never any physical danger from rioters coming in at any point.
.@AOC made clear she didn’t know who was at her door. Breathless attempts by media to fan fictitious news flames are dangerous.
My office is 2 doors down. Insurrectionists never stormed our hallway. Egregious doesn’t even begin to cover it. Is there nothing MSM won’t politicize? pic.twitter.com/Tl1GiPSOft
— Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) February 2, 2021
AOC’s building appears to have been briefly evacuated during the day as police checked on a nearby suspicious package that was later cleared.
So her “near-death experience” was an overreaction to a Capitol Police officer knocking on her door to direct her to another building, the Longworth Building, where she then stayed in the office of Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA). Instead of thanking the officer, she paints him as somehow a possible danger of which to be afraid. The Capitol Police were likely trying to evacuate the building quickly, it’s possible the officer was focused on getting people out quickly so likely didn’t have time for all the niceties.
First, it’s important to separate the “near-death experience” she had from her story of being sexually assaulted, which she related during the same Instagram video. AOC and the media are trying to paint any criticism of her dramatic tale of being close to death as not believing her story of being assaulted. That simply isn’t true and I’ve seen no one questioning the validity of her sexual assault claim.
Nor should we minimize the real danger she must have felt she was in. She didn’t know it was Capitol police officers going door-to-door looking for members. That she interpreted the officer’s demeanor as “hostile” and “aggressive” could easily be explained by the atmosphere of fear that was generated by the belief that the rioters would kill her. Republican members with offices in the CHOB have also said they were frightened and didn’t know what was going on.
But having said that, why did she feel the need to embellish the details of the story? And why did she infer in her story that she was in the Capitol building when she was nowhere near it? She inferred that she was in the thick of the insurrection, in mortal danger. Her life was never in danger and thinking it was is no excuse for not sticking to the truth.
Trending on Twitter: “Alexandria Ocasio-Smollett.”
Since it turns out that AOC wasn't even in the Capitol when the attack happened, the story is even more fake than Jussie Smollett's. https://t.co/c6glxeCgCl
— RBe (@RBPundit) February 3, 2021
As it turns out, Ted Cruz’s murder plot was foiled because AOC wasn’t actually in the Capitol. Wild!
— Anna James Zeigler (@ajzeigler) February 3, 2021
Complex is connected by underground tunnels. I’m not going to say it wasn’t a scary experience – I was scared to death for my friends working on Hill – but the idea she was especially targeted and interacted with people who wanted her dead would require them to… breach Cannon.
— Ellen Carmichael (@ellencarmichael) February 3, 2021
AOC saw the opportunity to score some cheap political points by placing herself at the center of the action on the day of the riot and overplayed the drama-queen card. She won’t really be called out for it. She is immune. Little details like pointing out she exaggerated her experience are forgotten as her popularity continues to grow.