Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday doubled down on her “terrifying” experience during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot — saying she initially kept mum about it because “so many survivors fear being publicly doubted.”
The Bronx-Queens congresswoman appeared on “CBS This Morning” after being accused of exaggerating details of Jan. 6, when a mob of protesters supporting former President Donald Trump protesters breached the Capitol building.
“It’s unfortunately kind of the spring to deny and to politicize our accounts, was something that I sat with,” Ocasio-Cortez said on the show. “So many survivors fear being publicly doubted. But the fact of the matter is the account is accurate.”
She added, “When it comes to minimizing the experience of survivors, that is extremely damaging as well.”
The second-term Democrat posted a livestream recounting the chaos, telling her Instagram followers that she had a “very close encounter” that left her thinking “I was going to die.”
She was holed up in her office in the Cannon building, part of the Capitol complex but not within the Capitol building itself. The Cannon building was evacuated that day.
On Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez, 31, took to Instagram Live again to detail her experience during the riot, while also revealing that she is a survivor of sexual assault.
The progressive congresswoman was blasted online by conservative journalist Jack Posobiec, who called out her account with a map of the Capitol grounds showing the proximity of her office to the breached Capitol building. That prompted the hashtags #AOClied and #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett — a reference to disgraced hate-crime faker Jussie Smollett — to start trending.
Ocasio-Cortez told CBS host Gayle King that she came clean about her sexual assault in order to give people the full picture.
“I felt that for transparency to people to understand why I was responding the way that I did on the 6th, I had to share part of what I was bringing with me that day,” she explained.
Ocasio-Cortez appeared in the interview alongside Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), who was snapped in a dramatic photo comforting Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) on the House floor amid the riot.
Crow defended Ocasio-Cortez from the criticism she’s received and blasted the “horrific … revictimization of survivors.”
“It has to stop,” he said. “We were all receiving notifications that the rioters were everywhere, that the Capitol police were overwhelmed. In all of our eyes, the entire situation was chaos and that was the experience we were living through.”