- The Washington Times - Friday, February 5, 2021

CNN’S Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo blasted “idiots” this week who are criticizing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s viral social media posts on the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat, told more than 1.4 million viewers “I thought I was going to die” when a Capitol Police officer shouted “Where is she?!” while she hid inside her office bathroom.

“It didn’t feel right because he was looking at me with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility,” she said. “And, um, things weren’t adding up. Like, there was no partner there. … Like so many other communities in this country, like, just that presence doesn’t necessarily give you a clear signal if you’re safe or not.”

Mr. Lemon called criticism of the congresswoman’s story an attempt to distract people from troubles within the Republican Party.

“I kept trying to figure out how the people who were actually involved in that siege and all the chaos could be criticizing someone else who was involved in it because they were — because she was explaining how — what she thought was going on, in her particular situation. It was just flat-out partisanship,” the “CNN Tonight” host said Thursday. “And a distraction to Marjorie Taylor Greene.”

“Let me tell you, I lived a situation like that, and it doesn’t have to be real, the threat, for you to believe it’s imminent and real,” Mr. Cuomo replied after recounting his time reporting from Iraq.

Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, whose office is two doors down from Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, has called the Democrat’s commentary an exaggeration of reality. 

“My office is 2 doors down. Insurrectionists never stormed our hallway,” she tweeted of her Jan. 6 experience in the Cannon Building near the Capitol. “*FACT CHECK* I have not once discounted your fear. We were ALL terrified that day. I’m stating the fact that insurrectionists were never in our hallway… because they weren’t. I deal in facts. Unlike you, apparently.

“This was a traumatic experience and I’m not gonna discount that for anyone that lived through that day,” she added during a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity. “[But] when you exaggerate it, or are dishonest about how you represent what happened, it waters down everyone else’s trauma.”

Mr. Lemon, disgusted at such critiques, responded: “Let them do it because they look like idiots.”

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