Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said in a recent CNN interview that she feared being raped and killed during the Jan. 6 assault when a mob broke through the barricades and attacked the Capitol building. Ocasio-Cortez, often known by her initials AOC, claimed that misogyny and racism were “deeply rooted and animated” in the attack.
“White supremacy and patriarchy are very linked in a lot of ways… There’s a lot of sexualizing of that violence, and I didn’t think that I was just going to be killed. I thought other things were going to happen to me as well,” Ocasio-Cortez said in the Aug. 9 interview. When asked by host Dana Bash whether she thought she was going to be raped, she replied, “Yeah, I thought I was.”
The congresswoman had raised this issue back in February as well. During an Instagram Live chat, the lawmaker said that she and a staffer hid inside the office bathroom as someone she feared was a rioter pounded at the door. The person was actually a Capitol Police officer who hadn’t identified himself. Ocasio-Cortez stated that she was terrified of the possibility of being murdered.
In a video published in February, YouTube personality Tim Pool, on his channel “Timcast,” called Ocasio-Cortez’s claims misleading and made various arguments to demonstrate the falsehood of her story.
Facts don’t match claims: Timcast
Ocasio-Cortez was not in the Capitol building at the time of the attack, Pool stated. Instead, she was in the Cannon House Office building, a congressional office building situated south of the U.S. Capitol.
While the congresswoman said that she heard the banging at the door at around 1:01 p.m. and believed it to be the protestors. However, not only was Ocasio-Cortez not in the Capitol building, the attackers had not even breached the Capitol doors during this time. The breach would only occur an hour and ten minutes later at around 2:10 p.m.
“Here’s what’s happening. It has now been a month. We all have fresh in our minds that people breached the capital… She is preying upon your assumptions. So when she says ‘this happened’, you assume the… mob was storming through the Capitol building and she was there, saying ‘No, no they’ve come for me.’ Her story took place at 1 p.m. She is lying about what happened. There’s no way she thought the pro-Trump (protestors) came for her,” Pool says in the video.
Ocasio-Cortez claims she heard loud bangs on her door and someone told her to run and hide at around 1:01 p.m. Pool asks why anyone would ask her to run and hide when the Capitol hadn’t even been breached. Trump was still giving his speech at that time, which only ended around 1:12 p.m.
According to Ocasio-Cortez, her building was being evacuated because “people were trying to rush and infiltrate our office.” But Pool’s research showed that the evacuation was done due to a bomb threat. He cites The Washington Post journalist Mike DeBonis’ tweet to show that the evacuations were ordered by the Capitol Police. The tweet was posted at 1: 26 p.m.
At 1:53, DeBonis tweets that the evacuation has been cleared and reentry is authorized. This essentially means that as the protestors were pushing towards the Capitol, the police ended the evacuation and told people to go back to the legislature.
At around 2:11 p.m, the rioters actually broke into the Capitol. The joint session of Congress only ends at 2:30 p.m., an hour and half after Ocasio-Cortez’s claim that protestors had entered the building.
Pool goes on to criticize mainstream media for pushing Ocasio-Cortez’s story. He cites a Vox article which states that she took refuge behind a bathroom door “just before the pro-Trump attackers break into her office and make it clear they were coming for her.” Pool calls it “an outright manipulation by the media” as the described events never actually took place.
In the past, Ocasio-Cortez has made statements trivializing sexual assault. In 2018, she participated in a panel discussion at Columbia University where she suggested that people who commit sexual assault might benefit from it. She was responding to unsubstantiated accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. “A sexual assault allegation does not kill a career but accelerates it,” Ocasio-Cortez said.