Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has denied that she and fellow Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., faked being in handcuffs as they were arrested and led away from a pro-abortion protest for blocking traffic.
Ocasio-Cortez and Omar were among 17 House Democrats who were arrested at the protest. Video caught Ocasio-Cortez being led away with her hands held behind her back in the typical pose that indicates she had been placed in handcuffs. She raised her fist to the crowd, breaking the illusion.
Omar followed suit with a similar performance, holding her hands behind her back and raising her fist as she got closer to the crowd.
The Democrats were ridiculed by conservatives for the stunt. Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., who tweeted, “Politics has become performative art. So of course @aoc fakes being in handcuffs. Performance, not policy, is the name of the game up here.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded to the tweet claiming that she had not pretended to be in handcuffs, and was only holding her hands behind her back to avoid escalation.
“No faking here,” she wrote. “Putting your hands behind your back is a best practice while detained, handcuffed or not, to avoid escalating charges like resisting arrest. But given how you lied about a fellow rape survivor for ‘points,’ as you put it to me, I don’t expect much else from you.”
Ocasio-Cortez spoke in reference to a tweet from Mace in the wake of the January 6 Capitol incident. Ocasio-Cortez claimed that she had been afraid and hid in her office with no way to know who was coming down the hallway as the mob entered the Capitol building.
However, media outlets at the time made outrageous and untrue claims, including one which said that Ocasio-Cortez’ office had been broken into and she had taken refuge in the bathroom.
In response, Mace wrote a tweet, which read, “AOC made clear she didn’t know who was at her door. Breathless attempts by media to fan fictitious news flames are dangerous. My office is 2 doors down. Insurrectionists never stormed our hallway. Egregious doesn’t even begin to cover it. Is there nothing MSM [mainstream media] won’t politicize?” Attached to the tweet were photos of the article.
Two days later she tweeted again saying, “I’m two doors down from @aoc and no insurrectionists stormed our hallway.”
In response, Ocasio-Cortez said, “This is a deeply cynical & disgusting attack. … You previously told reporters yourself that you barricaded in your office, afraid you’d be hurt.”
She later wrote a Twitter post in which she claimed that Mace was silencing victims of sexual assault after saying on an Instagram live that she was a sexual assault survivor. However, Mace, who was a survivor of rape, had previously fought to include an exception for rape and incest for an abortion ban in her home state of South Carolina.
A Mace spokeswoman clarified at the time that Mace’s comment “was a critique of media twisting AOC’s account, not of AOC.”
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