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AOC says she feared for her life during Capitol riot: 'I thought I was going to die'

The Democrat said it’s "not an exaggeration" to say that many members of the House were nearly assassinated.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., says she feared for her life as a violent mob stormed the Capitol building last week.

In a lengthy Instagram Live video Tuesday night, Ocasio-Cortez said that she had a "very close encounter," during which she thought she "was going to die." She didn't elaborate on the details, but cited security concerns.

"I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive, and not just in a general sense but also in a very, very specific sense," the congresswoman said during the hour-long live stream, calling the encounter during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol "traumatizing."

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

Supporters of President Donald Trump stormed Capitol last week in protest of a congressional tally of the Electoral College votes confirming President-elect Joe Biden's win. As they raided the building, destroying property and attempting to breach both the House and Senate chambers, members were evacuated.

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

Ocasio-Cortez also said she did not feel safe when she was brought into a secure room with other lawmakers.

"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, without naming the lawmakers she thought could endanger her safety.

The New York congresswoman's post followed a number of other testimonials from Democratic lawmakers who have said their Republican colleagues' behavior put them in jeopardy.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., alleged in a Facebook video on Tuesday that some members of Congress led people through the Capitol on a "reconnaissance" tour of the building one day before Wednesday's riot, though she did not identify any specific officials. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., on Tuesday said she left her secure location after learning that "treasonous" lawmakers "who incited the mob in the first place" were also in the room.

Pressley also chastised lawmakers who refused to wear a mask after three Democrats, including a cancer survivor, tested positive for Covid-19. Congress' attending physician told House members Sunday that they may have been exposed to someone with the virus while in lockdown during the riot.

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Ocasio-Cortez condemned Trump's role in inciting the violent riot.

Her post came as the House passed a resolution late Tuesday calling on Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. The measure passed, but Pence in a letter sent ahead of the vote said he wouldn't invoke it. His refusal paved the way for the House to vote Wednesday to impeach Trump, making him the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

A growing number of Republican lawmakers have publicly endorsed impeaching the president ahead of the vote, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-highest ranking House Republican.

On Tuesday, Trump criticized Democrats for their plans to impeach him, calling efforts to remove him "ridiculous." He also denied any responsibility for his supporters’ violent invasion of the Capitol.

But Ocasio-Cortez said she was confident Trump would be impeached, calling the president "an active threat to every single American."

"Donald Trump's incitement of a deadly insurrection against the U.S. Capitol is without precedent in our nation's history and an egregious violation of his oath of office," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tweeted early Wednesday. "Fulfilling our oath to defend our Constitution requires that we act to remove him from office immediately."