Updated Feb 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

AOC reveals she's a sexual assault survivor while discussing Capitol riots

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Monday, August 24

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/Pool

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said during an Instagram live Monday night that she's "a survivor of sexual assault" and likened Republicans who said the country should "move on" from the U.S. Capitol insurrection to "abusers."

Details: "The reason I'm getting emotional in this moment is because the folks who tell us to move on, that it's not a big deal, that we should forget what's happened, or even telling us to apologize, these are the same tactics of abusers," said a tearful Ocasio-Cortez.

  • "I'm a survivor of sexual assault, and I haven't told many people that in my life," the progressive lawmaker continued. "But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other.
"And so whether you had a neglectful parent or whether you had someone who was verbally abusive to you, whether you are a survivor of abuse, whether you experienced any sort of trauma in your life … These episodes can compound on one another."

Driving the news: Since 10 House Republicans voted last month to impeach former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" during the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots, 45 GOP senators have backed a drive to dismiss his second impeachment trial — indicating the Senate is unlikely to vote to convict him.

  • Republican senators including Josh Hawley (Mo.), Bill Haggerty and Joni Ernst (Iowa) have said convicting Trump would further "divide" the nation.
  • Ocasio-Cortez said, "These folks who are just trying to tell us to move on are just like pulling the page – they're using the same tactics — of every other abuser who tells you to move on."
  • She said after learning a group of GOP senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), would object to certifying the election results "we knew that that violence was expected ... [and] predicated on someone telling the lie, the big lie, about our elections."

For the record: The Department of Justice said a Texas man who was charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly siege posted threats to assassinate Ocasio-Cortez, who has been the target of death threats in the past.

  • In her Instagram live, Ocasio-Cortez recalled hearing a man say during the Capitol siege "where is she?" as she hid from the mob. "I thought I was going to die," she said.

Of note: Republicans who voted to impeach Trump have been targeted by others in the GOP — in particular Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

  • The former president's House allies are trying to oust the third-ranking House Republican from her role as head of the chamber's GOP conference.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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