The controversy erupted after the New York congresswoman posted a video in which she described a confrontation with Capitol police at her office, which is located on the larger Capitol complex. 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.
Her office is located in the Cannon building, which is accessible through underground tunnels connected to the Capitol as well as via a short stroll down a walkway and across the street. It was also one of the buildings where staff was told to evacuate after suspicious packages were found in the area. Law enforcement found pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails in the vicinity.
In response to the incident, the congresswoman said: “I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive.” She also accused Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas of almost having her “murdered,” touching on accusations that Cruz and others incited the attack through their rhetoric about the election.
“I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die,” she said in a video last month.
In her more recent video, she offered an emotional recollection of how she hid behind a bathroom door and heard the police officer break into her office.
“I thought I was going to die,” she said. “I have never been quieter in my entire life.”
She added that the situation “didn’t feel right because he was looking at me with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility — and things weren’t adding up. There was no partner there and no one was yelling, he wasn’t yelling like, ‘this is Capitol police, this is Capitol police.'”
Capitol police did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
On Wednesday, she faced a wave of backlash from people like Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., who tweeted that insurrectionists never stormed the hallway that she shares with Ocasio-Cortez. The hashtag #AlexandriaOcasioSmollet also trended, an apparent comparison to actor Jussie Smollett, who falsely claimed to be the victim of a hate crime.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to some of the criticism, suggesting that it was “the latest manipulative take on the right.”
“They are manipulating the fact that most people don’t know the layout the Capitol complex,” she said. “We were all on the Capitol complex – the attack wasn’t just on the dome.”
In another tweet, she said: “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.”
It wasn’t immediately clear what she was referring to, and her office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
She later posted about her experience deciding whether or not to share her story.
“This is all to say that survivors are watching,” she tweeted. “Loved ones are watching. They may share their story tomorrow, or in months or years. Or they may never. Speaking vitriol towards other survivors hurts you & your loved ones. Bc [Because] dismissers rob themselves of meaningful relationships.”