Jan. 13, 2021 By Christina Santucci
Congress member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she feared for her life last Wednesday when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and forced her and fellow lawmakers into hiding.
She recounted her experience in an hour-long video posted to Instagram late Tuesday night.
Ocasio-Cortez said that she worried that she would be kidnapped or hurt and was concerned that some of her fellow congress members–some of whom she describes as white supremacists –would disclose where she was hiding during the ordeal.
“I, myself, did not even feel safe going to that extraction point 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 … who would create opportunities for me to be hurt, kidnapped, et cetera,” she said.
Ocasio-Cortez’s account was harrowing.
“I had a pretty traumatizing event happen to me,” she said. “But I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die.”
“You have all of those thoughts where at the end of your life, and all of these thoughts came rushing to you, and that’s what happened to a lot of us on Wednesday,” she said.
On January 6, violent demonstrators breached the Capitol building as a joint session of Congress gathered to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win. Lawmakers and their staff were forced to hide, and the proceedings were adjourned for several hours before authorities could remove the intruders from the building.
“I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive, and not just in a general sense but in a very, very specific sense,” she said.
Federal law enforcement officials are working to determine if some of the rioters intended to capture or kill lawmakers or their staff, the Washington Post reported. Photographs of the mayhem depicted several demonstrators carrying zip ties, which are typically used as restraints.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that many, many members of the House were nearly assassinated,” she said. “We were very lucky that things happened within certain minutes that allowed members to escape the House floor unharmed, but many of us narrowly escaped death.”
Since being elected to represent western Queens and parts of the Bronx, Ocasio-Cortez has used social media frequently to connect with constituents and post videos showing her daily life as a member of Congress. She currently has 8.3 million followers on Instagram.