AOC Opened Up About Capitol Attack, Called Out GOP Cowardice on Instagram Live


Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took to Instagram Live on January 12 for over an hour, spending the bulk of the time sharing limited information about her experiences during the January 6 fascist insurrection in the U.S. Capitol and blasting Republicans for their opportunistic cowardice in handling President Donald Trump.

For roughly 40 minutes, the second-term congresswoman known to many as AOC discussed what she called a “violent and traumatizing week” since last Wednesday’s attack. Here’s what she had to say.

On the threat Congress faced

Ocasio-Cortez did not mince words as she laid the blame for the Capitol attack at the feet of the Republican president and his support from within the GOP’s congressional ranks.

“The president — frankly, assisted by members of Congress — incited an attack on the United States Capitol,” she told viewers. “This is known as an act of insurrection, an act of sedition. And, frankly, he is a traitor to our country.”

“If you’re Senator Ted Cruz or Senator Josh Hawley or, frankly, if you’re many members of Congress, you cast that vote not out of genuine belief, but you cast it out of political ambition,” AOC said of the Republicans who levied challenges against certified Electoral College results. “They incited an attack on the capitol.”

“Many, many, many members of Congress were almost murdered,” she said. “Many congressional staffers were almost killed.”

“As for myself, I had a pretty traumatizing event happen to me, and I do not know if I can even disclose the full details of that event due to security concerns,” she shared. “But I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die.”

“It is not an exaggeration to say that many, many members of the House were nearly assassinated. It’s just not an exaggeration to say that at all,” she said later in the stream. “We were very lucky that things happened within certain minutes that allowed members to escape the House floor unharmed. But many of us nearly and narrowly escaped death.”

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On dealing with trauma

AOC said that she experienced fear that she would not live through Wednesday — both “in a general sense, but also in a very, very specific sense” — and reflected on the profoundly traumatizing experience.

“I think it’s an opportunity for a lot of us to talk about trauma as well,” she said. “I think what’s really important is whenever any person has an encounter where they think they’re going to die and they go through that process, that is a traumatizing event and you don’t have to — things don’t have to get that far for things to be traumatizing.”

Ocasio-Cortez looked beyond herself, recognizing that the events of this week didn’t have to put someone in direct danger in the Capitol themselves to trigger trauma responses.

“You could’ve just seen it on TV. You could’ve just heard about it,” she said. “But if you at all feel unsettled in a deep way, that your intuition is kind of telling you something’s not right, go check in with somebody. There’s no problem with that. There’s no shame in that. It’s health care. Mental health care is health care, which is why — by the way — why we fight for mental health care to be included in health-care provisions and bills like Medicare for All.”

On betrayal in the Capitol

Ocasio-Cortez lauded police officers, especially officers of color, who defended Congress. But she also called out what she called “acts of betrayal” that put people at risk.





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