Conservatives Are Now Attacking AOC’s Capitol Siege Story On Twitter

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images.
Since Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez painstakingly recounted the trauma of hiding in the U.S. Capitol while it was under siege — and revealed that she is a survivor of sexual assault — Republican politicians and pundits have been frothing at the mouth to discredit her lived experiences. To no one’s surprise, one of the most vocal critics is author and commentator Candace Owens, who has previously attacked Ocasio-Cortez for everything from “her socialist platform” to her very valid anger about climate change. In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Owens accused Ocasio-Cortez of “faking her own attempted murder” and falsely accusing men of committing “heinous acts” against her.
“On a day in which #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett is trending, please never forget the time that @AOC staged a photo shoot dressed in all white at a parking lot to spread lies about immigrant children in cages,” she wrote. “Faking her own attempted murder was the next logical step.” 
For context, Ocasio-Cortez did not “stage a photo shoot.” Since the photos of Ocasio-Cortez crying at the border were first published in 2019, Republicans have argued that she was not crying over detained children, but posing in an empty parking lot. This conspiracy theory has been denied by the photographer and consistently disproven.
Owens continued to blast Ocasio-Cortez for drawing attention to Sen. Ted Cruz’s role in the attack. “As much as I love @tedcruz, if I were to fantasize my own near death experience I would cast Denzel Washington in the role of my would-be murderer,” she wrote. Then, in another tweet, “Since I’m trending, I’d like to remind everyone that I live in Washington D.C — just a few blocks from the Capitol building. Long story short, Ted Cruz tried to murder me too.”
Republicans have been tearing apart Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram Live video since she shared it on Monday. Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed that she was not in the Capitol building during the attack, and that she’s exaggerating her experience. In reality, Ocasio-Cortez was in her congressional office, which is in a building located directly outside the Capitol. Her office was one of several that was evacuated. Plus, she had reason to fear for her life: Ocasio-Cortez has been subjected to death threats since taking office, and one of the rioters threatened to assassinate her on social media. 
In her video, Ocasio-Cortez recalled hiding in Rep. Katie Porter’s office while protestors yelled, “Where is she?” On Twitter, she called Carlson’s claim “manipulative,” and said that he is “manipulating the fact that most people don’t know the layout” of the Capitol complex.
But this is nothing new: Republicans and conservative pundits have been trying to paint Ocasio-Cortez as a liar for years — they’ve only just upped the ante in recent weeks as she has called for Cruz and Sen. Josh Hawley to resign. Meanwhile, her story about the Jan. 6 attack has been consistent, while conservative lawmakers have been scrambling to “move on” from the insurrection and protect Donald Trump amid his second impeachment. South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, for instance, wrote on Twitter that she was two doors down from Ocasio-Cortez at the time of the siege, and “no insurrectionists stormed our hallway.” Meanwhile, Mace had previously told reporters that she was afraid for her life after she voted to certify the electoral votes, and the day of the attack, Mace also tweeted about evacuating her office.
And, as Ocasio-Cortez pointed out, claims that she’s lying — about her fear during the attack, or her sexual assault — aren’t only attacks on her. “Survivors are watching. Loved ones are watching. They may share their story tomorrow, or in months or years. Or they may never,” she wrote. “Speaking vitriol towards other survivors hurts you and your loved ones.”

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