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Ocasio-Cortez says she feared for her life during Capitol attack

Chris Sommerfeldt, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez revealed late Tuesday that she feared she was going to get killed in a “very close encounter” with pro-Trump rioters during last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat who has gained a massive following during her burgeoning congressional career, shared details about the “traumatizing” event in an Instagram Live video posted shortly before midnight Tuesday.

“I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die,” she said, adding she couldn’t elaborate further because of security reasons. “I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive.”

The 31-year-old congresswoman, who represents parts of Queens and the Bronx, said she wasn’t alone in fearing for her life. “It is not an exaggeration to say that many, many members of the House were nearly assassinated,” she said.

And it didn’t get better after police officers evacuated her and colleagues from both sides of the aisle to a secure part of the Capitol, she said.

“There were QAnon and white supremacist sympathizers, and frankly white supremacist members of Congress, in that extraction point who I have felt would disclose my location and would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, etcetera,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

She did not name the lawmakers she feared would put her in danger. A spokeswoman for the congresswoman declined to comment.

Ocasio-Cortez’s disturbing allegations comes as other Democrats on Capitol Hill are saying that Republicans helped rioters plan last Wednesday’s attack, which left five people dead, including a police officer.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., said in a Facebook video posted Tuesday that some of her Republican colleagues invited suspected rioters for a “reconnaissance” tour of the Capitol the day before the assault.


“I’m going to see that they’re held accountable,” Sherrill said in the video.

Sherrill, who represents parts of northern Jersey, also didn’t give names.

The FBI, which is pursuing various investigations into last Wednesday’s riot, did not return a request for comment, and neither did Capitol Police.

President Donald Trump has faced the brunt of the blame for inciting the bloody Capitol attack, having told thousands of his supporters to march on the building and “fight like hell” to stop the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. He’s set to be impeached by the House on Wednesday for inciting the riot.

But several GOP members of Congress loyal to Trump also made inflammatory remarks ahead of the attack.

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., who spearheaded several failed challenges against Biden’s Electoral College victory during last week’s certification session, told Trump supporters at a “Stop the Steal” rally on the morning of the riot that they should prepare for a fight.

“Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,” Brooks said.

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