AOC on Capitol siege: 'I thought I was going to die'

The congresswoman recounts some of her experiences at the Capitol riots to her 8.3 million Instagram followers.

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Daniel Van Boom
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recounted her experiences during the Capitol riot to her Instagram followers.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images/Pool

One of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's hallmarks is hosting accessible Instagram Live videos, in which she talks her followers through the complicated political processes of Washington. But on Tuesday, the Democratic congresswoman, also known as AOC, used Instagram Live to recount her traumatic experiences during last week's siege on the US Capitol.

Ocasio-Cortez called it "a close encounter where I thought I was going to die." 

"I didn't even feel safe going to that extraction point because there were QAnon and white supremacist members of Congress who I felt would disclose my location and create opportunities to allow me to be hurt," she said. 

Ocasio-Cortez is one of four Democratic congresswomen who make up "The Squad," alongside Reps. Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. Ocasio-Cortez is the group's most known member and has become a popular figure on the political left -- though reviled in some conservative circles.

The siege on the Capitol came Jan. 6 after President Donald Trump spoke to followers in Washington, DC, at a gathering in support of the false assertion that President-elect Joe Biden stole the 2020 election from him. A joint session of Congress confirmed Biden as president, a formality presided over and announced by Vice President Mike Pence. Following the events of the day, Trump's Twitter account, among other social media accounts, was permanently suspended for what Twitter called "the risk of further incitement of violence." 

Following the riots, AOC was one of the first to call for Trump to be removed from office. "Impeach," she tweeted the afternoon of Jan. 6. Pence has opted to not invoke the 25th Amendment, which would replace Trump with Pence, but the House is poised on Wednesday to call a vote to impeach Trump for the second time

Ocasio-Cortez told her Instagram followers she was unable to describe her experience of the riot in greater detail for legal reasons. She did, however, use it as an opportunity to repudiate the senators who voted against certifying the election results, adding to the calls for Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to resign.

"And so I want to be clear, to Senator Ted Cruz. You do not belong in the United States Senate. Be clear to Senator Josh Hawley. You do not belong in the United States Senate. You do not belong in any democratically elected seat. When you do not believe that that election was even legitimate according to your self-serving claims. So get out."