AOC says many Congress members ‘narrowly escaped death’ during Capitol riots

'It's not an exaggeration to say that many many members of the House were nearly assassinated’

Louise Hall
Wednesday 13 January 2021 16:55 GMT
AOC says many Congress members 'narrowly escaped death' during Capitol riots
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said that many Congress members “narrowly escaped death” in a new video discussing the “trauma” that she experienced during the riot on the US Capitol.

During the riot last week, Trump supporters breached the Capitol as lawmakers were gathered to certify Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election and they were forced to evacuate.  

The mob, who were demanding that the election result be overturned, vandalised Capitol property and looted the building, smashing windows and ransacking offices.

In an hour-long Instagram Live video on Wednesday, the Democratic congresswoman gave more insight into her experience during the pro-Trump storming of the Captiol on Wednesday.

“It's 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,” the New York representative said.

“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.”

Five people died as a result of the riot on 6 January, violence including one Capitol Police officer who was beaten as he tried to ward off the crowds.

AOC explained that she could not go into specific detail about her shocking time inside the Capitol while the insurrection unfolded due to security concerns. 

However, she divulged that she had a “close encounter” during which she “thought [she] was going to die.”

“I did not know If I was going to make it to the end of that day alive. Not just in a general sense but in a very very specific sense,” she said.

The representative added that she felt unsafe during the evacuation to a “secure location” criticising a number of Republican supporters for refusing to wear masks.

“Republican members of Congress didn’t wear masks. They refused to wear marks in that secure location,” she said.

Three Democratic House representatives have tested positive for Covid-19 after being forced to barricade themselves in offices to hide from the rioters with dozens of politicians and staff members.

The 31-year-old also noted that she “did not even feel safe going to that extraction point” with certain Republican representatives due to their ties to extremist beliefs.

She claimed that she thought certain members of the House may have disclosed her location and even allow her to be kidnapped by the mob.

“There were QAnon and white supremacist sympathisers and frankly white supremacist members of Congress in that extraction point who I know and who I had felt would disclose my location and allow me to, who would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, etcetera,” she said.

Democrats will move forward with impeaching Mr Trump on Wednesday as the House considers an article of impeachment that accuses him of “incitement to insurrection.”

The rioters breached the building after attending a Save America rally, during which the president encouraged supporters to march on the Capitol.

“And we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women and we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,” he said during the speech.

“Because you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”

Rep Ocasio-Cortez, who was one of the first lawmakers to call for Mr Trump’s impeachment following the siege, has said he should be impeached, removed from office, and barred from ever running for president again.

“Every minute and every hour that he is in office represents a clear and present danger, not just to the United States Congress but frankly to the country,” Rep Ocasio-Cortez said earlier this week.

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