AOC hits back at Republican claims she lied about Capitol assault: ‘It’s because they know they are implicated’

Critics say lawmaker was in her Cannon House office and not Capitol Building during violence

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 03 February 2021 17:27 EST
AOC tears up as she details hiding from Capitol rioters, looking to kill her

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has hit back at claims she lied about her experience during the pro-Trump Capitol riots.

The New York congresswoman took to Twitter to blast “implicated” Republicans for suggesting that she had exaggerated what she went through during the attack.

Critics have said that the congresswoman was in her office in the nearby Cannon House Building and not in the US Capitol Building when it was stormed.

GOP congresswoman Nancy Mace has said that her office is two doors down from Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s and that “insurrectionists never stormed our hallway.”

But Ms Ocasio-Cortez branded the efforts by Republicans to discredit her as “very damning and revealing.”

“To survivors of any trauma who worry about being believed, or that their situation wasn’t ‘bad’ enough or ‘too’ bad, or fear being branded or deemed ‘manipulative’ for telling the truth: I see you,” she tweeted.

“Community is here for you. You are safe with me, and with all of us. You are loved!”

And she said that the efforts by Republicans were the “latest manipulative take on the right.”

“They are manipulating the fact that most people don’t know the layout the Capitol complex," she wrote.

“We were all on the Capitol complex - the attack wasn’t just on the dome.

"The bombs Trump supporters planted surrounded our offices too.

"People were trying to rush and infiltrate our office buildings - that’s why we had to get evacuated in the first place.”

The lawmaker also said that evidence showed the rioters had been intent on trying to physically harm politicians.

“It is also very damning and revealing that the GOP is now digging both heels in a discrediting campaign," she tweeted.

“It’s because they know they are implicated, so they’re pivoting to (again) the classic abuse playbook of ‘it’s not as bad as they say.’

“It was that bad. It’s actually worse.”

Earlier in the week Ms Ocasio-Cortez revealed that she was a victim of sexual assault, as she put in context the trauma she says she suffered in the wake of the Capitol riot.

It is the first time that the lawmaker has talked publicly about being a survivor of sexaul assault.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez said on an Instagram Live stream that those people telling her to “move on” from the 6 January violence were using “the same tactics" of abusers.

“The reason I say this and the reason I'm getting emotional in this moment is because these folks who tell us to move on, that it's not a big deal, that we should forget what's happened, or even telling us to apologise,” she said.

“These are the same tactics of abusers. And, um, I'm a survivor of sexual assault.”

The congresswoman did not go into detail about her sexual assault.

“And I haven't told many people that in my life. But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other,” she added.

"And so, whether you had a negligent or a neglectful parent, and - or whether you had someone who was verbally abusive to you, whether you are a survivor of abuse, whether you experience any sort of trauma in your life, small to large - these episodes can compound on one another."

There was an outpouring of support for Mr Ocasio-Cortez following her revelation.

Sara Benincasa, a writer, said: “And enormous respect to AOC for choosing to disclose that she was sexually assaulted when she was younger, and to discuss how new danger to one’s safety can awaken and compound old traumatic memories.”

“AOC's admission of being an abuse survivor is especially poignant, given the horror the she clearly experienced on 1/6. It's one of the most devastating moments of her IG (Instagram).," tweeted Steve Seel of Minnesota public radio.

"To which I can only respond, the fact that THIS is the environment our lawmakers now live under, and especially the Squad, is an absolute disgrace for what purports to be a civilised society,” 

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