“I Thought I Was Going To Die”: AOC Details Harrowing Day Inside The Capitol Insurrection

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she and many of her colleagues “narrowly escaped death” after being “nearly assassinated.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Instagram Live Tuesday night detailed the “traumatizing” day last week when pro-Trump rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol. | Instagram/aoc
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Instagram Live Tuesday night detailed the “traumatizing” day last week when pro-Trump rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol. | Instagram/aoc

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Instagram Live on Tuesday night to detail the “traumatizing” day last week when pro-Trump rioters violently broke into the U.S. Capitol while Congress members were voting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

The New York lawmaker described “a pretty traumatizing event” that she wasn’t sure she could fully explain “due to security concerns.”

"But I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die,” she said. 

Pro-Trump rioters violently breached the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 6 while Congress voted to certify President-elect Biden’s electoral victory. Federal law enforcement officials have opened at least 160 cases related to the attack that left five people dead.

Ocasio-Cortez emphasized that it is "not an exaggeration" to say that many members of the House were "nearly assassinated."

"We were very lucky that things happened within certain minutes that allowed members to escape the House floor unharmed," she said. "Many of us merely narrowly escaped death."

She also said that she didn’t feel safe being around some GOP lawmakers while the pro-Trump breach was unfolding.

"There were QAnon and white supremacist sympathizers, and frankly white supremacist members of Congress, in that extraction point who I have felt would disclose my location and would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, et cetera," Ocasio-Cortez said, though she did name any lawmakers specifically.

She did call out some now-former administration officials by name, including Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and other members of President Trump’s cabinet who have resigned following the Capitol attack.

"I have a message for anyone who is resigning after Wednesday: Too late. Too late,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

She also condemned GOP Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley who were among several current and incoming Senate Republicans who planned to reject “electors from disputed states” during the Electoral College certification that day.

“This is how democracy can burn. It is fragile. We must cherish it. And they didn’t. And they don’t,” she said of her Republican colleagues. “So they need to leave. Donald Trump needs to leave. Ted Cruz needs to leave. Josh Hawley needs to get out. They need to get. Out.”

Despite the violent attack on the Capitol, Congress reconvened its vote later in the evening that day and passed the motion to certify the electoral count.

Since the deadly riot, Trump has been banned from major social media platforms, and several corporations have suspended GOP donations.

House Democrats have also moved to impeach Trump before he leaves office on January 20, and a House vote is being held on Wednesday. One day prior, on Tuesday, House Democrats also passed legislation calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would allow Congress to remove Trump from office, but Pence refused.

Correction: An earlier version of this story described some former administration officials as lawmakers. This has been updated to reflect their higher positions.