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Former Washington Journalist
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), no stranger to controversy in her brief tenure on Capitol Hill, now has surprisingly become a lightning rod for — of all things — her harrowing experiences during those traumatic hours of January 6 when insurrectionists overran the US Capitol.
Ocasio-Cortez was just one of the lawmakers caught up in the frightening maelstrom that day as insurrectionists and domestic terrorists backing Donald Trump were hunting then-Vice President Mike Pence and various members of Congress in an attempt to overturn the lawful election of Joe Biden as the incoming president of the United States.
But her story that day became a flashpoint when Rep Nancy Mace — a freshman Republican from South Carolina — in office just a matter of days at the time of the attack, publicly doubted the veracity of Ocasio-Cortez’s account of that day.
Some commentators blame the focus on conspiracist and political violence-backing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga), saying that the attack on Ocasio-Cortez’s veracity is merely an attempt at a cheap tit-for-tat.
“They’re going after one of the Democrats because the Democrats are going after one of theirs. I’m telling you, Mr. Noise Pollution over there at ‘State TV’ and the others, they want to frame the Democrats for January 6,” CNN Chris Cuomo said, referring to Fox News and its primetime host, Sean Hannity. “They’ve been leaking it out, all these different ways, that there’s an untold story, that this was a setup.”
Rep. Katie Porter, a second-term Democrat from California, backed up Ocasio-Cortez’s view of events, however.
“Well, first, you know, she saw me and we waved. I went into my office. And a couple seconds later she knocked and she said, you know, ‘Could we come in?’ I said, ‘Of course.’ And she began to — you know, her staffer was trying to describe what had happened,” Porter said. “And Alex is really usually, like, unfailingly polite and very personable, and she wasn’t even really talking to me. She was opening up doors and I was like, ‘Can I help you? Like, what are you looking for?’ And she said, ‘I’m looking for where I’m going to hide.’ And the thing that will always stay with me, the two memories that really — you know, especially as a mom — I think were just really powerful for me, was when she said, you know — I was saying, ‘Don’t worry. I’m a mom, I’m calm. I have everything here we need. We can live for like a month in this office.’ And she said, ‘I just hope I get to be a mom, I hope I don’t die today.’
“And the second thing is she was wearing heels, and I remember her saying to me — I was wearing flats, and I remember her saying to me, ‘I knew I shouldn’t have worn heels. How am I going to run?’” Porter added. “And we went and we found her a pair of sneakers to wear from one of my staffers so that she could run if she needed to literally run for her life.”
Several Americans were left dead by the events, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
TV political host Mehdi Hassan called Mace’s jab at Ocasio-Cortez — while using the January 6 insurrection to advance her gun rights — a case of dissembling.
“So to be clear: Nancy Mace wants to carry a gun and barricaded herself in her office, but AOC is lying about and exaggerating the threat? These people are shameful,” said Hasan.
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