Democrats may be trying to push a message of unity in the wake of an attack on the U.S. Capitol that led to the president being impeached a second time, but even some of their own don’t seem to be buying that narrative.
In a massive blunder for her party’s messaging, progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) excoriated her fellow members of Congress in an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Friday, saying she didn’t feel safe seeking shelter in the same room as some of her colleagues during last week’s raid on the Capitol, according to Breitbart.
Pressed by Maddow on whether there’s an investigation into lawmakers in Congress who may have been “complicit” in the attack, AOC said she couldn’t speak on that, but maintained that “it wasn’t safe” for her to shelter in the same “secure room” where other members and their staffers were hunkering down.
“It wasn’t safe”
“You are saying that you didn’t feel safe going to that extraction point because you believe, knowing them, that there were members of Congress you didn’t trust not to betray your location and put you in danger in that way,” Maddow said, according to Breitbart. “Can you talk a bit more about that, why you believed that, if what you believed about that, what you know about that is something that should be part of the investigation? Or is it part of the investigation that’s been announced into whether members of Congress are complicit here?”
In response, Ocasio-Cortez alleged that “there are members of Congress that have made public comments” aligning them with the same causes that she claims drove rioters to storm the U.S. Capitol.
“Comments like that Muslim Americans should not hold public office. They’ve made public comments that are quite closely aligned with the beliefs of white supremacists and white supremacist sympathizer organizations. These are all public record,” the congresswoman told Maddow, as Breitbart reported.
“And, you know, people of color are not safe around any individual who, frankly, sympathizes with a white supremacist cause. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve been elected to Congress or not. It is a complete abdication of any responsibility that we all have to protect and defend and be there for each other as human beings and certainly as Americans,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“So it wasn’t safe,” she explained, according to Breitbart. “And the implications of that are quite dire. To not be in a secure location because being in the insecure location seems like a safer bet than being in a secure location. I mean, it’s pretty scary. I can also say I was not the only member of Congress that felt that way. You know, not every member was in that secure room.”
So much for unity
Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks come in stark contrast to the “call for unity” echoing from the upper echelons of the Democratic Party — and she’s not the only one bucking that narrative. Many on the left have had strong words for their Republican colleagues in the wake of the attack on the Capitol, with Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), a close ally of AOC’s, accusing congressional Republicans of engaging in “chemical warfare” by not wearing face masks while the building was on lockdown, as Fox News reported.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) seemed to confirm in a Friday presser that investigators are looking into the potential roles of members of Congress in the riot.
“We always prepared to protect and defend from all enemies, foreign, but the Constitution of all this also says, ‘and domestic,’ and now we have to protect ourselves from enemies domestic. How close within? The investigation will — will let us know,” she said, according to the Washington Examiner.
“If, in fact, it is found that members of Congress are accomplices to this insurrection, if they aided and abetted, there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress in terms of prosecution for that,” Pelosi added.