AOC says her office struggles to keep up with the 'astronomical' level of daily threats that she receives: NYT

AOC says her office struggles to keep up with the 'astronomical' level of daily threats that she receives: NYT
AOC
Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez of New York.AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
  • AOC told The New York Times her office can barely keep up with the "astronomical" level of threats.

  • The congresswoman told the newspaper it took her 2.5 years to receive additional security.

  • She also expressed that members with less seniority are at a disadvantage if they receive threats.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said her congressional office struggles to keep pace with the "astronomical" level of threatening messages that she receives each day, according to The New York Times.

Recently, The Times examined the increased amount of threats that members of Congress have received in recent years, especially after the riot at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Ocasio-Cortez, a second-term New York Democrat, told the newspaper that it took two and half years for her to obtain added security from the Capitol Police, despite the high level of threats she had already received in the past.

After the department saw a tweet it perceived as "threatening," officials decided to grant Ocasio-Cortez additional protection. But the congresswoman was dumbfounded by the timing of the decision.

"When I saw what it was, I was like, 'I've gotten so much worse,'" she told The Times. "Why now?"

Ocasio-Cortez said that her office has had difficulties keeping up with the elevated level of threats, which party leaders have informed her total more than virtually every other member other than Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

The Times reported that the aides who answer phones in Ocasio-Cortez's congressional office in Washington, DC — some of whom are barely out of high school — are often left to decipher and report whether a message is threatening.

Ocasio-Cortez has chosen to buttress efforts in sizing up threats by having her office produce a daily document containing the images of men who have issued menacing messages so she can more easily point out and avoid such individuals, according to the Times.

Since last year, the congresswoman has spent over $120,000 on security protection, according to data examined by The Times.

Per The Times, the Capitol Police adheres to the Supreme Court interpretation of a threat, which would represent "statements where the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals."

Ocasio-Cortez told The Times that the system disadvantages members with less seniority, as they often encounter threats but lack the means to pay for enhanced security services.

"You are now extra tasked with providing and coming up with your own financial resources for your own safety," she said.

Read the original article on Business Insider