Critics are beginning to question Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s previous claims that she was near death during the Jan. 6 Capitol Building attack and that her office was breached by rioters.
The controversy began last month following the riot when the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist from New York exchanged barbs with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), accusing him of helping incite the attack by objecting to a slate of electors from Arizona and demanding he resign.
The back-and-forth escalated throughout January, culminating in an online exchange whereby Ocasio-Cortez accused Cruz of trying to have her killed.
Then, in a video posted online by the left-wing group Justice Democrats earlier this week, Ocasio-Cortez claimed that, as rioters approached and then breached her office, she was told by a staffer to “hide, hide, run and hide.”
“I thought I was going to die. I have never been quieter in my entire life,” she explained in the video, adding that she hid in her office bathroom.
She also said a man broke into her office and that she could hear him yelling before and after he entered: “Where is she? Where is she?”
Later, she explained that the man was actually a Capitol Police officer whom she said appeared angry and hostile to her.
Her story was amplified by media reports and, some say, falsified, including one from Newsweek which claimed Ocasio-Cortez said “rioters actually entered her office, forcing her to take refuge inside her bathroom after her legislative director Geraldo Bonilla-Chavez” told her to hide.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) noted on Twitter that her office is in the Cannon House Office Building, two doors down from the New York Democrat, and that no one breached the building. She also blasted Newsweek for sensationalizing the story.
“.@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?” Mace noted.
.@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
But Ocasio-Cortez’s initial claims that she feared for her life because of the riots — suggesting she was in or near the Capitol Building at the time — have also been challenged after she said in a video posted to Instagram a week after the riot, “I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive.”
On Wednesday, the hashtag #AlexandriaOcasioSmollet trended to No. 1 on Twitter amid escalating counter-claims, an apparent reference to the actor Jussie Smollett, who falsely claimed he was the victim of a hate crime.
One America News’ Jack Prosobiec tweeted out a post from RedState noting that Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t in the Capitol Building itself, but rather in her Cannon Building office.
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
She reacted with this response: “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.”
Posobiec replied with “Fact-check” — along with a graphic of the Capitol Complex, indicating where Ocasio-Cortez was, in Rep. Katie Porter’s office in the Cannon Building, and where the Capitol Building itself is located.
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) February 3, 2021
Meanwhile, several other users responded to the growing controversy.
The ratio here.
How embarrassing for #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 3, 2021
Watch AOC’s story change.
First – She didn’t go to the extraction point because she feared other Congressmen.
That was too ridiculous. She changed it to – “a police officer purposely withheld the extraction information.” pic.twitter.com/U4VF3GOZhB
— Michael Moore (@mbracemoore) February 3, 2021
A lot of quietly deleted tweets today over the detail in AOC's story that she thought she was hiding from the mob, but it turned out to be Capitol Police. She told it as she experienced it. https://t.co/wlzbpcEuvl
— Ben Smith (@benyt) February 2, 2021
It's ok, you liberals defending AOC.
It's ok to admit she punked you. It's ok to admit you thought she was actually in the Capitol.
She took you because you wanted to get took.
It's ok to admit that. Just learn from it.#AlexandriaOcasioSmollett
— RBe (@RBPundit) February 3, 2021
Yup.. the feigned fear for her life was going to eventually catch up with her. #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett is starting to look very appropriate.
— Joe Pags Pagliarulo (@JoeTalkShow) February 3, 2021
Someone at Twitter is about to receive an angry phone call from Sandy Ocasio's congressional office in the Cannon House Office Building—which, by the way, is not in the Capitol.#AlexandriaOcasioSmollett pic.twitter.com/BCpRoDLWX2
— Max Eagle (@MaxNordau) February 3, 2021
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