Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told CNN’s Chris Wallace that she has lived in a constant state of fear for her own well-being since she was first elected to Congress.
The New York Democrat described how her concern over threats has affected her life during an appearance on Friday’s edition of CNN’s “Who’s Talking To Chris Wallace?”
“Do you feel your life is in danger?” Wallace asked.
“Absolutely, I felt that my life has been in danger since the moment that I won my primary election in 2018. And it became especially intensified when I was first brought into Congress in 2019,” Ocasio-Cortez responded.
Wallace pressed Ocasio-Cortez for more details, asking if that meant she was “looking over [her] shoulder while walking down the street.”
“It means when I wake up in the morning, I hesitate to walk my dog. It means when I come home, I have to ask my fiancée to come out to where my car is to walk me to just from my car to my front door,” Ocasio-Cortez responded.
“It means that there’s just … a general disposition where you kind of feel like there’s almost a static electricity around you. And you’re just always just looking around, your head is just on a swivel, going to a restaurant, walking down the street,” she added.
Ocasio-Cortez added that her fears for her life have “very much shaped” her political stances — and said she felt in 2019 that she “may not see the end of the year.”
“I really felt that way,” the lawmaker said.
Nevertheless, she pushed back when Wallace pressed her over the current US political landscape, asking if she agreed that “people want both parties to move from the fringes.”
“I think a lot of people in this country may say yes, but it’s important for us to dig into the substance of what that actually means. As someone who is often, I think, characterized as extreme, I of course would object to that,” Ocasio-Cortez responded. “I do not believe that I am as extreme in the way that Marjorie Taylor Greene on the Republican side is extreme.”
Ocasio-Cortez has openly discussed receiving death threats since entering Congress. In 2019, she told Time that members of her staff had taken risk assessment training.
The self-described Democratic socialist has also accused Republican lawmakers and other conservative voices of stoking threats of violence against her and other Democrats.
This week, Ocasio-Cortez clashed with Elon Musk — a frequent target of criticism among liberals — over his plan to allow users to pay $8 per month for Twitter verification. Ocasio-Cortez argued that the verification model would allow for “targeted harassment” against women.
She also bizarrely claimed that Musk was responsible for a malfunction with her Twitter account, prompting the billionaire to joke that it was a “naked abuse of power” on his part.