Speaking out. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez almost died during the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, revealing on Instagram nearly a week after the riots that she experienced a “very close encounter” that made her question whether she “was going to make it to the end of that day alive.”
On Tuesday, January 12, the 31-year-old representative for New York’s 14th congressional district spoke for over an hour on Instagram Live to tell her constituents about the “incredibly violent” and “traumatizing” events that she witnessed at the Capitol building. During her Instagram Live Session, which quickly drew in over 100,000 viewers, Ocasio-Cortez revealed that she, along with many members of Congress and Congressional staffers, were “nearly assassinated” during the attempted “act of insurrection” by the pro-Trump mob.
“You have all of those thoughts where, at the end of your life, and all of these thoughts come rushing to you. And that’s what happened to a lot of us on Wednesday,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die,” she added, noting she could not reveal more specific details for security purposes. “I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive.”
The New York congresswoman went on to blast GOP lawmakers for instigating the events of January 6, and suggested that she could not trust some of her own colleagues during the attack due to their “white-supremacist” beliefs. When members of congress were told to take refuge at a protected “extraction point,” Ocasio-Cortez says she “didn’t even feel safe” to join them “because there were QAnon and white-supremacist sympathizers and, frankly, white-supremacist members of Congress in that extraction point who I know and who I have felt would disclose my location and would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, et cetera.”
Ocasio-Cortez is not the first U.S. representative to reveal these disturbing details and allege that her colleagues could not be trusted. Earlier on Tuesday, January 12, Rep. Ayanna Pressley took to Twitter to share a similar reaction as her ally in Congress. “The second I realized our ‘safe room’ from the violent white supremacist mob included treasonous, white supremacist, anti masker Members of Congress who incited the mob in the first place, I exited,” she wrote at the time.