Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., compared calls to “move on” after the Capitol riots to the tactics of abusers in an emotional Instagram live on Monday where she also revealed that she is a survivor of sexual assault.
Ocasio-Cortez also described how she hid in the bathroom in her office as a President Donald Trump-supporting mob broke into the Capitol in a step-by-step recount of the afternoon of the Jan. 6 riot.
“I just hear, ‘where is she. Where is she.’ And this was the moment where I thought everything was over,” she said.
The sexual assault revelation would be a shock to some friends and loved ones, Ocasio-Cortez said.
“The reason I’m getting emotional in this moment is because these folks who tell us to move on, that it’s not a big deal, that we should forget what’s happened, or even telling us to apologize, these are the same tactics of abusers, and I am a survivor of sexual assault and I haven’t told many people that in my life,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
The Monday night post was not the first time that Ocasio-Cortez said she thought she would die during the riot. On Jan. 12, she said in an Instagram live that she did “not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive.”
She acted out how she hid behind the bathroom door, peaking through the crack next to the hinges to see who was in her office.
She also described how she felt wary of a Capitol Police officer who came to help evacuate her from her office.
“Just the very uncertainty that you don’t know if that person was actually trying to protect you or not is already deeply unsettling,” she said.
In the days leading up to Jan. 6, when lawmakers affirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s election win, Ocasio-Cortez said she had been warned by other members of Congress that there could be violence and said the Capitol Police had told lawmakers not to worry about security.
The progressive lawmaker went on to call out Republican lawmakers for questioning the election results, saying their denials helped provoke the violence and called for them to be held accountable.
“We need accountability because accountability is not about revenge, it’s not about getting back at people, it’s not about any of that. It’s about creating safety,” she said. “We are not safe with people who hold positions of power, who are willing to endanger the lives of others if they think it will score them a political point. Because they what, want to what run for president four years from now?”
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Last week, Ocasio-Cortez accused Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, of “trying to get me killed” by challenging the election results in the lead up to the Capitol riot and demanded that he resign.
Her comments came after Cruz said he agreed with her call for an investigation into the stock trading app Robinhood.
Cruz has denied inciting the violence that broke out during the electoral vote count.
When asked about her comments last week, Cruz told reporters, “There’s a lot of partisan anger and rage on the Democratic side. It’s, it’s not healthy for our country, it’s certainly not conducive of healing or unity, but everyone has to decide how they want to interact with others.”
Trump became the first president to be impeached twice last week for his role in encouraging a violent mob of his supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Trump has insisted with no evidence that the election was fraudulent since the November election.