Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez revealed that she feared for her life during Trump supporters’ deadly attack on the Capitol last week and said that many Congress members “nearly lost their lives.” In an Instagram video shared on Tuesday (Jan. 12), the New York Congresswoman reflected on the traumatic event.
“Many members of Congress were almost murdered. Many Congressional staffers were almost killed. Many children of members of Congress were there,” she said during the video.
Ocasio-Cortez also said she had a “close encounter” with one of the rioters. She couldn’t disclose the full details of the encounter due to security concerns, but said that during the attack, 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,” she continued. “Not just in a general sense, but also in a very, very specific sense.”
In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack, many politicians have condemned Trump for inciting the rioters and continuously lying about the presidential election results. In her video, Ocasio-Cortez called Trump a “traitor” and said he was “assisted by members of Congress” in instigating the attack, naming Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Josh Hawley.
“Frankly, he is a traitor to our country; a traitor to the United States,” she said. “I don’t think there is any other way you can put it.”
On Wednesday morning (Jan. 13) at 9 a.m EST, debates began as the House of Representatives moves to vote on impeaching Trump. On Monday (Jan. 11), House Democrats formally charged him with inciting an insurrection.
Ocasio-Cortez further talked about the traumatic impact that the riot had on her and encouraged viewers to “check in with somebody” or seek professional help if they were experiencing trauma of their own.
“Wednesday was an extremely traumatizing event and it is not an exaggeration to say that many, many members of the House were nearly assassinated,” she said.
Several rioters have since been arrested after the attack and were found to have taken zip-ties with them into the Capitol. Others were identified by law enforcement as trying to kidnap or kill lawmakers.
“Many of us nearly, and narrowly, escaped death,” she added.
Ocasio-Cortez also spoke about the Capitol Police officers who lost their lives as a result of the riot.
“I don’t want to see the Republican Party talk about blue lives ever again,” she said. “This was never about safety for them. It was always a slogan. Because if they actually care about the rule of law, they would speak up when people break the law.”
See Ocasio-Cortez’s full address on Instagram below.