Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) has again responded to critics of her account of the Capitol riot on January 6, blasting them for “politicizing” her story and possibly preventing other “survivors” from coming forward.
“It’s unfortunately kind of the spring to deny and to politicize our accounts,” Ocasio-Cortez told ‘CBS This Morning’ on Friday when asked about people who have cast doubt on her story of fearing for her life during the Capitol riot last month.
The congresswoman said the fear of being “publicly doubted,” along with security concerns, kept her from sharing her story immediately. She eventually did in an Instagram Live video where she claimed she thought she was “going to die” after a “close encounter” and said the events triggered trauma from a past sexual assault. She also expressed a fear that “white supremacist” members of the House would turn her over to protesters and publicly accused Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) of having almost had her “murdered.”
Ocasio-Cortez said on Friday that fellow survivors of trauma across the country don’t get the help they need because they fear their experiences will be “minimized,” something she said was happening to her at the moment.
“When it comes to minimizing the experiences of survivors, that is extremely dangerous…so many survivors across the country don’t get the help that they need because they internalize people saying that their trauma isn’t big enough to get help,” the Democrat said.
Democratic @RepAOC joined fellow lawmakers on the House floor last night, sharing stories and some traumatic memories from the assault on the Capitol.@AOC and Democratic @RepJasonCrow were forced to hide as rioters stormed the building.They join us now exclusively. pic.twitter.com/e46WpkiUzW
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) February 5, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez has been accused of exaggerating her experience on January 6 since it was revealed she was actually in her office in the Cannon building, which is part of the Capitol complex, but is not in the actual Capitol building that was sieged. It was, however, evacuated that day over security concerns.
A now-viral map of the complex showing the distance between the two buildings has led to a wave of criticism of the Democrat congresswoman, with some social media users even branding her #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett, in reference to infamous hate crime hoaxer and actor Jussie Smollett.
Ocasio-Cortez, however, has continued to defend her account and chalk up attacks on her story as “disinformation.”
The sad thing about disinformation is that once the truth comes out, the damage has already been done. People have already been misled, radicalized & believe lies to a point where their hatred has brewed to violence.That’s what led to the 6th, and it’s happening right now.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 3, 2021
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