Ocasio-Cortez compared those denying the seriousness of the insurrection to “abusers.”
“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,” the representative said.
She then revealed: “I’m a survivor of sexual assault.”
“And I haven’t told many people that in my life,” she 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.”
After the Capitol riots, Ocasio-Cortez said on a separate Instagram Live that she and other elected officials “narrowly escaped death.”
The Democrat said she personally had an encounter, the details of which she said she couldn’t disclose due to security concerns, “where I thought I was going to die.”
She said there was “a sense that something was wrong from the inside” and that she remained fearful even after she was taken to a secure location with other elected officials.
Ocasio-Cortez, who is Hispanic, noted that her fears were heightened because there were white supremacists and other extremists taking part in the mostly white mob.
The second-term representative, whose New York district covers part of Queens and the Bronx, is among the most high-profile elected officials on the political left and a lightning rod for the right and extreme right.
She had strong condemnation for Trump for inciting the riots, as well as members of his administration who have not invoked the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, as well as those who voted to overturn the election results.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.