Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is being dubbed “Alexandria Ocasio-Smollett” as details emerge that she exaggerated the extent of her “trauma” from the Capitol riot, given that she was not at the site of the siege, but in an office building nearby. The hyperbole has critics pointing to her flair for dramatic deception.
In the four weeks since the Capitol riot, Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has said repeatedly that she feared for her life on Jan. 6, as a result of a “very close encounter.”
This week, the progressive politician shared more details of that encounter during an Instagram Live.
Ocasio-Cortez said she was in her office, which is located in the Cannon building, when rioters stormed the Capitol. The building is part of the overall Capitol complex, but is not within the Capitol building itself, New York Post reported.
She had been barricaded in her office for hours when a man who turned out to be a Capitol Police officer rushed into her office to direct her to a safer location for lawmakers.
The officer, AOC said, had “anger and hostility in his eyes,” making her question if he was trying to put her in a “vulnerable situation.” Still, she chose to trust him and not “pass judgment.”
The 31-year-old lawmaker then became emotional, revealing that she was a sexual assault survivor, which caused her to “struggle with the idea of being believed.”
However, she provided no details about the assault or when it took place.
That struggle, she said, kept her from speaking out initially about her experience at the Capitol.
After she shared her story, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) revealed that during the riot, Ocasio-Cortez walked into her office, didn’t stop to speak to her and just began opening cabinet doors.
“I was like, ‘Can I help you?’ Like, ‘What are you looking for?’” Porter shared during an MSNBC appearance.
“‘I’m looking for where I am going to hide,’” Ocasio-Cortez reportedly responded.
Porter said she tried to calm AOC down, saying that she was a mom and had plenty of supplies in the office to sustain them.
“She said, ‘I just hope I get to be a mom. I hope I don’t die today,’” according to Porter, who works next door to Ocasio-Cortez in the Longworth office building.
The problem with her story, however, is that rioters did not storm the building in question, which was confirmed by Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), who tweeted, “My office is 2 doors down. Insurrectionists never stormed our hallway.”
The accusation began to circulate on social media, resulting in the Democratic socialist getting dragged on multiple platforms including her favorite, Twitter, The Post reported.
Map shows AOC’s location in relation to the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 siege. (Maxar via New York Post)
After being called out by conservative journalist Jack Posobiec on the platform with a map of the Capitol complex, the New York lawmaker responded.
“This isn’t a fact check at all. Your arrows aren’t accurate. They lie about where the mob stormed & place them further away than it was,” she tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “You also fail to convey *multiple* areas people were trying to storm. It wasn’t 1. You also failed to show tunnels. Poor job all around.”
This isn’t a fact check at all. Your arrows aren’t accurate. They lie about where the mob stormed & place them further away than it was.
You also fail to the convey *multiple* areas people were trying to storm. It wasn’t 1. You also failed to show tunnels. Poor job all around.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 3, 2021
Posobiec’s map highlighted the 0.3-mile distance between the Democratic lawmaker’s office building and the Capitol Rotunda itself.
After being called out by Ocasio-Cortez, Posobiec stood by the map, sharing it again and writing, “Maps cut through the rhetoric.”
Posobiec went on to call AOC out for continuing to stand by her story, writing a series of tweets, including one in which he screenshotted a post from the lawmaker about how protests are supposed to make people uncomfortable.
“This you?” he asked alongside the screenshot of AOC’s tweet saying, “The whole point of protesting is to make ppl uncomfortable. Activists take that discomfort w/ the status quo & advocate for concrete policy changes. Popular support often start small & grows. To folks who complain protest demands make others uncomfortable… that’s the point.”
This you? https://t.co/QRxTPDe65f pic.twitter.com/BPLz349SaY
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) February 3, 2021
“There were no rioters in Sandy Cortez’s hallway. Trump voters weren’t trying to kill her, neither were other US senators,” Tucker Carlson said on his show Wednesday. “A lot of the rioters were angrier at [then-Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell than they were at any Democrat. To some extent, what you saw on Jan. 6 was an intra-party struggle. Not all of it, but some of it. An act of mindless destruction aimed at Republican leaders borne of long-simmering frustration.”
Carlson added that GOP leaders were “likely in graver danger” than Democrats during the siege.
Nevertheless, AOC apparently adheres to “the best defense is a good offense” theory, so she continued to tweet.
“You may not know that you know a survivor, but it’s highly likely that you do. Survivors of trauma are close to you. They are people you love & you may not know. Many decide whether their story is safe with someone by how they respond to other survivors. Don’t push them away,” she wrote in one of multiple posts.
“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,” she wrote in another.
“That’s what led to the 6th, and it’s happening right now.”
“Like when you misled people all week, for example,” Posobiec responded in another tweet.
Like when you misled people all week, for example https://t.co/ATRJcSio14
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) February 4, 2021
Following the interaction with Posobiec, the hashtags #AOClied and #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett vaulted to the top trends in the US, an apparent comparison to actor Jussie Smollett, who falsely claimed to be the victim of a hate crime, The Post reported.In an email later sent to supporters, AOC encouraged them to “identify and posts that are threatening or harassing and use the built-in report features to flag them for moderators.”
“Facebook and Twitter both have built in tools for reporting posts and tweets that break the rules,” her email read.
After the email was revealed, Posobiec took to the social media platform again to call out the lawmaker’s call to censor the hashtags.
“To be clear, a US government official is calling for tech companies to censor private citizens for daring to point out when she is not telling the truth,” he wrote.
Unfortunately for Ocasio-Cortez, the tweets appear to have kept coming, with #AOClied and #AOCSmollett continuing to trend on the social media platform through Thursday morning.
Reps for Ocasio-Cortez did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.