‘She’s lost it, she doesn’t deal in reality’: GOP congresswoman doubles down on claims over AOC Capitol ordeal

Nancy Mace blasts fellow congresswoman for her comments despite also feeling threatened herself

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Friday 05 February 2021 00:28 GMT
Related video: Tucker Carlson mocks AOC for Capitol riot fears

South Carolina Representative Nancy Mace doubled down on her criticism of New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's account of her personal experience during the storming of the Capitol on 6 January.

After feuding with Ms Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter, Ms Mace told Fox News: "She lost it today, she doesn't deal in reality ... I think it's important that we take members to task when they're not being honest with the American people. This division is hurting our country.

"I'm not going to discount the trauma ... but at no time were there rioters at our doors banging to get in," Ms Mace, who has her office two doors down from Ms Ocasio-Cortez in the Cannon office building, told Fox News who put up part of a Newsweek article on-screen as she spoke. The article said that someone entered Ms Ocasio-Cortez's office, but didn't show the part of the story saying that it was a police officer.

The Capitol complex was breached, and the rioters could have reached the adjoining office buildings, where Ms Ocasio-Cortez and Ms Mace had barricaded themselves had members of the mob been familiar with the layout of the building.

Ms Mace told South Carolina paper The State that she feared Trump supporters might attack her and that she barricaded herself in her office and spent the night there, not wanting to return to her hotel.

She then blasted Ms Ocasio-Cortez for her comments, despite saying she herself also felt threatened, telling Fox News, "I felt like I was a sitting duck, I felt like my life was in danger," in the very same interview.

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Ms Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: "Wild that Nancy Mace is discrediting herself less than one month in office with such dishonest attacks. She went on record saying she barricaded in fear. Nancy Mace, who else’s experiences will you minimize? Capitol Police in Longworth? Custodial workers, who cleaned up shards of glass?

"All I can think of with folks like her dishonestly claiming that survivors are exaggerating are the stories of veterans and survivors in my community who deny themselves care they need and deserve because they internalize voices like hers saying what they went through 'wasn’t bad enough'.

"This is where the true damage of what Nancy Mace is doing comes in. How many survivors are watching her? Who now, seeing her, won’t get care or will feel further shame or silence? Who won’t speak up because they know there are voices in leadership ready to minimize their experiences?"

Ms Ocasio-Cortez said during an Instagram Live broadcast on Monday that she "thought everything was over," as she hid in the bathroom of her office in the Cannon office building steps away from the Capitol as Trump supporters were about to breach it. A man banged on the door yelling “Where is she? Where is she?” It turned out to be a police officer who wanted to move her to a secure location, but Ms Ocasio-Cortez said the situation "didn't feel right because he was looking at me with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility".

Ms Ocasio-Cortez said on 12 January that “I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die". She said she didn't feel safe going to a secure location with Republican lawmakers “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 would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, et cetera.”

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