Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday said she was a sexual assault survivor, a disclosure she made during a strikingly personal recounting of her experiences during the pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol last month.
“I’m a survivor of sexual assault,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, said during an Instagram Live appearance, her voice wavering with emotion. “And I haven’t told many people that in my life. But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other.”
Speaking to more than 150,000 viewers — a number that fluctuated up and down slightly through the evening — Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, 31, walked viewers through the days leading up to the riot as well as the day of it. At one point, she appeared to wipe away tears.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, whose district includes parts of the Bronx and Queens, is one of the most prominent progressive leaders in the United States. In 2018, she defeated then-Representative Joseph Crowley, Democrat of New York, in a stunning primary upset.
She has gone on to become an influential voice in both city and national politics, and among the most sought-after endorsements among progressive candidates. She often draws intense and sometimes vitriolic criticism from those on the right.
This is a developing story.