Nearly a month after supporters of President Donald Trump violently stormed the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., recounted the experience from her perspective.
In a 90-minute Instagram Live video, Oscasio-Cortez described fearing for her life as she hid in the bathroom of her office in the Cannon House Office Building, a part of the Capitol complex.
Days later, the second-term congresswoman pushed back against right-wing critics who said she exaggerated the danger she faced during the riot.
“AOC wasn’t even in the Capitol building during her ‘near death’ experience,” read one headline on RedState, one of severalconservative websites that questioned Ocasio-Cortez’s account.
“AOC lied!” another headline said. “She Wasn’t Even in the Capitol Building During the Riot…Her Life Was Never in Danger: Report.”
Similar claims attacking Ocasio-Cortez cropped up in widespreadposts on Facebook, where they were flagged as part of the company’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
On Twitter, hashtags likened Ocasio-Cortez to actor Jussie Smollett, who was indicted for false reports to police and accused of staging an attack against himself.
The criticism also reached cable news. “There were no rioters in (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s) hallway,” said Fox News host Tucker Carlson. “Trump voters weren’t trying to kill her.”
Ocasio-Cortez stood by her remarks and pushed back against the attacks online. As she went back and forth on Twitter with conservative activist and One America News Network correspondent Jack Posobiec, readers asked PolitiFact what was true and what wasn’t.
It’s true that Ocasio-Cortez was not in the main Capitol building where the House and Senate chambers are located as rioters broke in. She was in the Cannon building.
But she never claimed in her video to have been in the main Capitol building, and the Cannon building was one of two buildings in the broader Capitol complex that was forced to evacuate.Ocasio-Cortez feared she “could die” as police knocked on her door
In her Instagram Live video, Ocasio-Cortez said she had just gotten off the phone with her chief of staff and was scrolling through lunch options at around 1 p.m. when she heard “huge, violent bangs on my door.” It was like “someone was trying to break the door down,” she said.
YOU’LL FIND THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW ON ‘POLITIFACT’: https://www.politifact.com/article/2021/feb/04/ask-politifact-where-was-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-/