On January 6, a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the United States Capitol in a deadly failed insurrection fueled by the former President's lies about the validity of the 2020 presidential election.
Some of the violent rioters were equipped with zip ties, demanded "heads on pikes," and erected a gallows outside for lawmakers they felt weren't loyal enough to Donald Trump.
In a deeply personal Instagram Live earlier this week, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)—a frequent target of the right due to her support for progressive policies—opened up about what she experienced that day.
She recalled hiding in her office's bathroom as a man entered her office shouting, "Where is she?," leading her to fear for her life. The man—who didn't announce himself as a Capitol Police Officer—told her to go to a safety point at a neighboring office building, but didn't give her an exact location.
As the mob drew closer, Ocasio-Cortez took shelter in the office of Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) and changed into sneakers, fearing that she'd have to run for her life.
The Congresswoman came out as a survivor of sexual assault, likening that trauma to the trauma she experienced at the Capitol to convey the damage done by Republican lawmakers insisting Americans simply "move on" from the tragedy.
It didn't take long for right-wing figures like Jack Posobiec to scramble to poke holes in her story, falsely claiming she wasn't in any danger because she wasn't in the dome of the Capitol, but in a neighboring congressional office building.
Fact-check https://t.co/tLoJ3HxcQP— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸) 1612375730.0
The Congresswoman—colloquially known as "AOC"—fact checked these lies.
@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— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1612377943.0
Soon, #AOCLied began trending, much to Posobiec's delight.
Good morning Sunday morning https://t.co/PviplD2njg— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸) 1612447184.0
But the hashtag was soon hijacked by supporters of Ocasio-Cortez in an attempt to stifle the disinformation being spread about her experience, instead flooding it with photos of their pets.
#AOClied I only got one scoop of food this morning. @AOC https://t.co/im0GPpeWya— Christopher Orris (@Christopher Orris) 1612447062.0
Of course @AOC didn't lie and here is my happy pupper who loves ball more than life itself #AOClied https://t.co/oPv21TDLen— PreciousLittleSleep (@PreciousLittleSleep) 1612447679.0
#AOClied LOOK AT MY CAT SHES SO CUTE ‼️‼️🙏 https://t.co/xajLuNctt7— jos loves ranboo💘ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ (NEW ART PINNED‼️‼️‼️‼️) (@jos loves ranboo💘ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ (NEW ART PINNED‼️‼️‼️‼️)) 1612446516.0
My dog would love it if #AOClied next to him and his piggy 🐾💙 https://t.co/okn9GsHNVt— Lag Vegas (@Lag Vegas) 1612417607.0
The #AOClied pet takeover is one of the many examples of why I love the internet 🥰 https://t.co/XtJwSK6shk— James Gurley-Dawkins (@James Gurley-Dawkins) 1612446810.0
#AOClied My dog actually is the cutest. https://t.co/uRI8F2L4vr— Stig (@Stig) 1612444377.0
Others posted funny photos of celebrities.
#AOClied hey guys here's a photo of matt damon dressed as an egg I find kinda relatable https://t.co/tRDOBv9erx— Disgusted John Marston (@Disgusted John Marston) 1612415990.0
#AOClied I love this picture of Jake Gyllenhaal and would like to share https://t.co/2F9TeKMVnN— Disgusted John Marston (@Disgusted John Marston) 1612415733.0
#AOClied Just an excuse to post a live Rush pic. https://t.co/33ZDVUH4cP— Entity79 (@Entity79) 1612423283.0
Despite what right wing disinformation peddlers like Posobiec would have Twitter believe, no part of Ocasio-Cortez's account has been disproven.
At least one Capitol rioter was arrested for his calls to "assassinate AOC" during the riots.