AOC comforts tearful Tlaib recalling death threats in Capitol riot testimony

Rep. Rashida Tlaib wasn't in the building during the Jan. 6 insurrection, but she's had death threats since she was first voted into Congress.

U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib was comforted by fellow “squad” member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as she gave emotional testimony about the trauma she’s endured in Washington D.C. since before last month’s siege attempt.

Tlaib wasn’t in the building during the deadly insurrection in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, but she shared her experiences receiving death threats since she was first voted into Congress in 2019 by her constituents in Michigan, which includes part of Detroit.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comforts Democratic colleague Rep. Rashida Tlaib while she speaks on the death threats she’s endured since she was first voted into Congress two years ago. (C-SPAN)

“On my very first day of orientation, I got my first death threat,” Tlaib said. “It was a serious one. They took me aside, the FBI. I didn’t even get sworn in yet, and someone wanted me dead for just existing. More came later. Uglier, more violent.”

She was regularly threatened for her Muslim faith, she said, including one threat that referenced a mass shooting at a mosque in New Zealand. Another threat mentioned her son by name.

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“All I wanted to do was to come here and serve the people that raised me,” said Tlaib, who’s been frequently counseled by friends and family to carry a gun.

Thursday’s special order hour on the Capitol floor was organized by Ocasio-Cortez for lawmakers to detail their experiences in advance of the Senate trial for the second impeachment of Donald Trump, who has been charged with inciting the riot.

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She was motivated by comments by Republican South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, who tweeted that her office was in close proximity to Ocasio-Cortez and that “no insurrectionists stormed our hallway.” However, in Ocasio-Cortez’ recent Instagram Live, the New York Democrat said she was scared by a Capitol Police officer who failed to identify himself.

“The trauma for just being here and existing as a Muslim is so hard,” said Tlaib, noting that her office staff is diverse.

“I worry every day for their lives because of the rhetoric,” she shared. “I never thought they would feel unsafe her. So I ask my colleagues to try and not dehumanize what is happening. This is real.”

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