Republican Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), whose office is two doors down from Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, noted that “insurrectionists” never made it to their hall when the U.S. Capitol building was breached on Jan. 6. Mace made the note while hitting the media for their attempts to “fan fictitious news flames” about the breach.
On Jan. 6, Mace tweeted that she left her office in the Cannon Building, still inside the Capitol complex but some distance from the Capitol Rotunda and House Chambers: “Just evacuated my office in Cannon due to a nearby thereat,” she wrote. “Now we’re seeing protesters assaulting Capitol Police.”
AOC wasn’t even in the Capitol building where all the action was going down. If she was in her office, she was in the Cannon Building which is nearby, but a different building. But of course, many didn’t get the logistics and just assumed that she was in the Capitol building.
According to Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), who has an office in the same hall as AOC, two doors away, there were never any rioters in their hall so there was never any physical danger from rioters coming in at any point.
“[Ocasio-Cortez] made clear she didn’t know who was at her door,” the Republican wrote, captioning a post from Newsweek. “Breathless attempts by media to fan fictitious news flames are dangerous.”
“My office is 2 doors down,” Mace underscored. “Insurrectionists never stormed our hallway. Egregious doesn’t even begin to cover it. Is there nothing MSM (mainstream media) won’t politicize?”
.@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
Reporting on AOC’s recollection of the events on Jan. 6, Newsweek reported:
Ocasio-Cortez said that rioters actually entered her office, forcing her to take refuge inside her bathroom after her legislative director Geraldo Bonilla-Chavez told her to “hide, hide, run and hide.”
“And so I run back into my office,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I slam my door. There’s another kind of like back area to my office, and I open it, and there’s a closet and a bathroom. And I jump into my bathroom.”
Ocasio-Cortez said [she] was hiding behind the door “and then I just start to hear these yells of, ‘Where is she?'”
As members of the mob banged against the door, Ocasio-Cortez believed “this was the moment where I thought everything was over.”
“And the weird thing about moments like these is that you lose all sense of time,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “In retrospect, maybe it was 4 seconds. Maybe it was 5 seconds, maybe it was 10 seconds. Maybe it was one second, I don’t know. It felt like my brain was able to have so many thoughts.”
“In between the screams and the yells,” Ocasio-Cortez added, “I mean, I thought I was going to die.”
Mace argued that Newsweek was misleading in how they categorized AOC’s own account in an effort to “fan fictitious news flames.”
After Rep. Mace criticized Newsweek’s coverage, the outlet issued a correction to amend the description of Ocasio-Cortez’s account as follows: “Ocasio-Cortez said that an individual actually entered her office, forcing her to take refuge inside her bathroom after her legislative director Geraldo Bonilla-Chavez told her to ‘hide, hide, run and hide.’”
Newsweek’s correction note reads: “A previous version of this story stated that Ocasio-Cortez’s office was entered by rioters. Ocasio-Cortez’s office was actually entered by a Capitol police officer that did not identify himself. Newsweek regrets the error.”
On Monday night, via Instagram, AOC recounted the events on Jan. 6.
“All of a sudden I hear, boom, boom, boom, boom on my door,” the congresswoman said. “And then I hear these huge violent bangs on my door, and then on every door going into my office. Just, bang bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. Like, someone was trying to break the door down. And um, there were no voices; there were no yells … no one identifying themselves. And just, boom, boom, boom. And I just get up … and I run over to the legislative office.”
Ocasio-Cortez then ran into her bathroom, before deciding she should have hidden in her closet. On her way to move to the closet, she recalled: “I start opening the door to my bathroom, and I’m gonna run across to the closet. … And I hear that whoever was trying to get inside, got into my office. And then I realize that it’s too late for me to get into the closet. So I go back in, I hide back in … and then I just start to hear these yells of, ‘Where is she? Where is she?’ And I just thought to myself, they got inside.”
“And so, I hide behind my door. … This was the moment where I thought everything was over.”
After breaking down in tears reflecting on her life, AOC went back to the events on Jan. 6 and said she saw a “white man in a black beanie” who she later revealed to be a Capitol Police officer.
After her staffer told her to come out, AOC said she was “so deeply rattled” and was “still processing the end of my life.”
On Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez responded to RedState’s “take” on her whereabouts during the Capitol breach, calling the report “manipulative.”
“This is the latest manipulative take on the right,” she wrote. “They are manipulating the fact that most people don’t know the layout the Capitol complex. We were all on the Capitol complex – the attack wasn’t just on the dome. The bombs Trump supporters planted surrounded our offices too.”
There were pipe bombs discovered at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee in D.C. on Jan. 6, but it is unclear who planted them. There is a hefty reward out from the F.B.I. for information leading to the suspect.
This is the latest manipulative take on the right.
They are manipulating the fact that most people don’t know the layout the Capitol complex.
We were all on the Capitol complex – the attack wasn’t just on the dome.
The bombs Trump supporters planted surrounded our offices too. pic.twitter.com/jI18e0XRrd
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 3, 2021
“People were trying to rush and infiltrate our office buildings – that’s why we had to get evacuated in the first place. The attempts of attackers & publicly available communications show how they tried to gain access and share location info on finding members for physical harm,” the congresswoman said.
As she did earlier in the week, Ocasio-Cortez portrayed pushback against her characterization of events as “tactics of abusers.”
“It is also very damning and revealing that the GOP is now digging both heels in a discrediting campaign,” she wrote. “It’s because they know they are implicated, so they’re pivoting to (again) the classic abuse playbook of ‘it’s not as bad as they say.’ It was that bad. It’s actually worse.”
It is also very damning and revealing that the GOP is now digging both heels in a discrediting campaign.
It’s because they know they are implicated, so they’re pivoting to (again) the classic abuse playbook of “it’s not as bad as they say.”
It was that bad. It’s actually worse.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 3, 2021
This article has been updated to include Ocasio-Cortez’s response to the RedState report and to include Newsweek’s correction to the report highlighted by Rep. Mace.