Porter describes sheltering with Ocasio-Cortez during Capitol riot: ‘She said, ‘I just hope I get to be a mom”
Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) opened up about sheltering with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) during the riot at the Capitol last month, revealing that the New York lawmaker told her that “I hope I get to be a mom” and “I hope I don’t die today.”
Porter said that she saw Ocasio-Cortez as buildings on Capitol Hill were evacuated leading up to pro-Trump demonstrators breaching the Capitol itself. The California lawmaker said Ocasio-Cortez asked if she and a staffer could come into Porter’s office.
“Alex is really usually like unfailingly polite and very personable, and she wasn’t even really talking to me. She was opening up doors and I was like ‘Can I help you? Like what are you looking for?’ And she said, ‘I’m looking for where I’m going to hide,’” Porter told MSNBC on Monday.
Porter said that she tried to comfort Ocasio-Cortez, saying, “Well don’t worry, I’m a mom … [and] I’ve got everything here we need to live for like, a month in this office.”
“She said, ‘I just hope I get to be a mom. I hope I don’t die today,’” Porter told MSNBC.
The California lawmaker also noted that she and Ocasio-Cortez discussed their choice of shoes as they were sheltering in the office in the event that they needed to run from violent rioters. Porter was wearing flat shoes on the day of the riot, while Ocasio-Cortez was wearing heels.
“I remember her saying to me, ‘I knew I shouldn’t wear heels, how am I going to run?’ And we went and we found her a pair of sneakers to wear from one of my staffers so that she could run if she needed to literally run for her life,” Porter said Monday.
Ocasio-Cortez shared Porter’s comments on Twitter Monday, thanking her “for holding it down that day” and calling her “a wonderful friend.”
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 2, 2021
Porter said she was waiting in her office for six hours during the riot and that no law enforcement or other officials came to check that she and her staffers were safe.
“Capitol Police never accounted for every member’s safety, and so we heard voices in the hallway. We didn’t know what they were, whether those were police officers [or] whether those were intruders, and so we just we stayed dark,” Porter said, adding that she and others in her office sat quietly “in the hope that they [would] just run on by.”
Porter added that Capitol Police did not initially provide instructions for lawmakers “to go shelter” as they first evacuated office buildings on Capitol Hill.
Ocasio-Cortez recounted her experience during the Capitol riot while live on Instagram on Monday night. She said she was in her office earlier in the day, before sheltering in Porter’s office, when she heard banging on the doors. She told viewers that she hid in the bathroom and heard a man, who was later identified as a Capitol Police officer, yelling, “Where is she?”
“I thought I was going to die,” she said. “You have a lot of thoughts, I think, when you’re in a situation like that. And like also one of those thoughts that I have is … I really just felt like if this is the plan for me, then people will be able to take it from here.”