The hashtags “#AOClied” and “#AlexandriaOcasioSmollett” began trending on social media following claims by critics that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) wasn’t in the Capitol building during the riots in which she purportedly feared for her life.
The Smollett hashtag is a reference to actor Jussie Smollett, who claimed that men in MAGA hats attacked him at night in Chicago. Smollett was indicted twice on charges that his claims were a hoax.
In an Instagram Live video earlier this week, AOC (D-NY) told an elaborate story about the day of the riot.
Ocasio-Cortez said she hid in her office bathroom to remain safe from the protests outside of the Capitol building.
“I thought I was going to die,” she said, emotionally recalling the events she experienced. “I have never been quieter in my entire life.”
“If this was the journey that my life was taking, that I felt that things were going to be OK,” AOC recalled, wiping tears from her eyes. “I had fulfilled my purpose.”
Prior to that video, Ocasio-Cortez accused Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) of attempted murder.
“You almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago so you can sit this one out,” she said regarding a news story in which she and Cruz. “Happy to work [with] almost any other GOP that aren’t trying to get me killed.”
.@AOC describes a Capitol Police officer bursting into her office, says his presence “didn’t feel right” and that he was looking at her “in all of this anger and hostility.” Her staffer reportedly wondered if he would have to fight the officer. pic.twitter.com/LCj2JmmFP6
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) February 2, 2021
‘AOC Lied’ Trends On Social Media
Controversy erupted after some observers noticed that, according to AOC’s version of events, she wasn’t in the Capitol building during the protests. Instead, she was in the Cannon House Office Building across the street.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted that her office is just two doors down from Ocasio-Cortez’s and that “insurrectionists never stormed our hallway.”
AOC “described a confrontation with Capitol Police at her office, which is located on the larger Capitol complex,” Fox News reported.
“But it is not in the Capitol itself — which includes the dome, the House, and the Senate — and was where many rioters stormed in and were seen breaking windows,” they add.
The Capitol complex is considered the entire series of 20 buildings on Capitol Hill.
The Capitol building itself sits between two Senate Office Buildings and three House Office Buildings, where most Members of Congress and their staffs keep their offices.
There are underground tunnels connecting the Capitol building to the office buildings, which are used by Members and staff.
.@AOC made clear she didn’t know who was at her door. Breathless attempts by media to fan fictitious news flames are dangerous.
My office is 2 doors down. Insurrectionists never stormed our hallway. Egregious doesn’t even begin to cover it. Is there nothing MSM won’t politicize? pic.twitter.com/Tl1GiPSOft
— Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) February 2, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez’s original recollection of the events didn’t ever expressly claim she was in the Capitol.
But describing the events from that day from her office, which many people are unaware is located in the Cannon building, gave the impression that she was in close proximity to the protesters.
Leading to this trend on Twitter and its humorous associated trending topic:
Did AOC Lie?
Several critics began to question AOC’s Capitol riots story and just how close she was to those who gained access to the Capitol building.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Ocasio-Cortez video tale was about “the only subject she really cares about – herself.”
“Wallowing around in Lake Me like it’s interesting to anybody but her. Narcissism on parade,” he lamented. “The perfect symbol of a culture dying from self-involvement.”
“We’ve said that before and we’ve laughed as we did,” Carlson added. “But actually it’s not funny. People will believe this crap. Some already do.”
.@TuckerCarlson mocks @AOC for saying she felt her life was endangered during the insurrection on Jan 6. A man was recently arrested for planning to assassinate the representative. #CapitolRiots pic.twitter.com/hVi63d9uQx
— Indesist (@indesist) February 2, 2021
Others actually provided aerial map views of the difference between the Capitol and the Cannon building.
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) February 3, 2021
Others posted a Faceswap video of AOC on a Jussie Smollett interview.
— APEshotz (@apeshotz) February 4, 2021
AOC Sticks By Her Story
The New York socialist fired back at her critics in a series of tweets, saying rioters were “trying” to get into the office building and that those questioning her story were trying to reduce her trauma.
She also disputed the map posting information.
This isn’t a fact check at all. Your arrows aren’t accurate. They lie about where the mob stormed & place them further away than it was.
You also fail to the convey *multiple* areas people were trying to storm. It wasn’t 1. You also failed to show tunnels. Poor job all around.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 3, 2021
“The sad thing about disinformation is that once the truth comes out, the damage has already been done,” she said.
“People have already been misled, radicalized [and] believe lies to a point where their hatred has brewed to violence,” added AOC. “That’s what led to the 6th, and it’s happening right now.”
AOC is set to reiterate her personal story on the record on the House floor tonight.
Lawmakers will share their personal stories of the Jan. 6 attack on the House floor tonight.
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) February 4, 2021
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