Rep. 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.
In the four weeks since the 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 pol shared more details of that said encounter during an Instagram Live.
Ocasio-Cortez was in her office when rioters stormed the Capitol, which is located in the Cannon building. The building is part of the overall Capitol complex, but is not within the Capitol building itself.
She remained 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 opted 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.”
She gave 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 sharing 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, 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.
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.”
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 in a series of tweets, including one where 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.”
Speaking about the accusations that she was exaggerating or lying about her experience, Ocasio-Cortez issued multiple tweets defending herself.
“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.
Following the interaction with Posobiec, hashtags #AOClied, and #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett vaulted to the top trends in the US.
In an email later sent to supporters, she 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 keep coming, with #AOClied and #AOCSmollett continuing to trend on the social media platform through Thursday morning.