This baseless rumour was spread by notable right-wing figureheads on social media on Wednesday. It was reportedly started by far-right commentator Jack Posobiec, who shared an article from a website called RedState which accused Ocasio-Cortez of not being at the Capitol during the riot.
This accusation came after Ocasio-Cortez posted a lengthy video on Instagram earlier this week, where the Democratic congresswoman recounted the traumatic events of the riot. In the video, she compared the trauma she felt after the insurrection to the feeling she had after surviving sexual assault.
Many notable right-wing figures including Candance Owens, Benny Johnson and Steven Crowder began to pile on AOC and accuse her of lying. Republican congresswoman Nancy Mace also doubted her story, claiming her office is just two doors away from Ocasio-Cortez and the riots never came near her office.
.@AOC made clear she didn’t know who was at her door. Breathless attempts by media to fan fictitious news flames ar… https://t.co/OtglWQenBM
The hashtag was soon trending worldwide but in typical internet fashion many of the top tweets that used the hashtag weren't about AOC at all. Instead, it had been hijacked by K-Pop fans who were sharing pictures and gifs of their favourite singers.
Never been one to jump on K-pop floods but I love this too much https://t.co/O32349DLDz
Ocasio-Cortez has hit back at the claims that are being thrown at her, claiming the accusers don't understand the layout of the Capitol building and that the attack wasn't only focused on the dome. She also called out at the GOP for taking part in the attempts to discredit her.
This is the latest manipulative take on the right.
They are manipulating the fact that most people don’t know the… https://t.co/YcZdWLnl91
Unfortunately, this didn't quell the alt-right's attempts to smear AOC's story. Posobiec attempted to 'fact-check' the congresswoman by sharing a map of the capitol building, which AOC highlighted the many faults in his claim.
@JackPosobiec This isn’t a fact check at all. Your arrows aren’t accurate. They lie about where the mob stormed & p… https://t.co/iTvZUbrlOP