AOC was in the Cannon building; but she never claimed she was in the main building or that she came face-to-face with the rioters.
During an Instagram Live on February 1, 2020, New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) recalled her experience during the Capitol riot from January 6. She urged that the people behind the attack must be held responsible.
After this session, a post surfaced on the internet saying that Ocasio-Cortez falsely claimed that she was in the main Capitol building, and she was face-to-face with a mob of violent rioters. However, this is not true and she never made such claims.
During the hour-long live session, AOC revealed a week prior to the attack, she was receiving many text messages from people, including other members of Congress, telling her that she needed to be prepared for violence on the day of the Electoral College certification. She then said that on the day when Trump supporters began clashing with police outside the Capitol, she was looking on her phone to book a place for lunch for herself and her legislative director. Soon after, they heard someone violently banging on her office door, "like someone was trying to break the door down." She said she through her office and into the bathroom, hiding against the wall behind the door. "Then I just start to hear these yells of, 'Where is she? Where is she?,'" Ocasio-Cortez said. "This was the moment where I thought everything was over." But the person banging turned out to be a Capitol officer who told her to go to another building and spotted Rep. Katie Porter and stayed in her office with her staff for the remainder of the lockdown.
After this session, posts surfaced online saying that “AOC wasn’t even in the Capitol Building during her ‘near-death’ experience,” and the hashtag #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett started trending on Twitter.
But after hearing her Instagram live, we can confirm that Ocasio-Cortez never said she was in the main domed Capitol building during the riots. On the contrary, she explicitly states that she was in her congressional office in a different building nearby. AP reported that she was in the Cannon building, which is connected to the Capitol building with many tunnels.
Furthermore, Ocasio-Cortez never claimed that she came fact-to-fact with the rioters. On the contrary, he described the sense of fear she had when she heard someone violently banging on the door, but that turned out to be an officer.