Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is firing back at “rumors” from left-wing activists that she is hosting a high school military recruitment fair, claiming on Instagram that “large accounts” were making up lies about a recent event whose guests included military personnel from service academies.
According to a flyer, Ocasio Cortez hosted a “students fair” Monday with Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.). This event allowed high school students in the Bronx “to learn more about the resources available for students” through the district office and connected them with service academies.
There were also guests from the U.S. Marines, Navy Academy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines. This prompted a backlash against the progressive representative who proposed that certain forms of military recruiting be banned in 2020.
Ocasio Cortez posted Monday night on her Instagram that “Politics can be so crazy because people just wake up and make whatever they want up about you.” “Today, someone created a rumor about me hosting a high school military recruitment fair. Do you think that sounds like something I would do? It’s not true. But, someone started a rumor. It was accepted by everyone who believed it. The problem is that large accounts begin to host this and it spreads like wildfire, resulting in requests to cancel the event or not show up.”
✨✨Join me and @repaoc for our Student Service Fair on March 20th, from 4-6:00 pm at The Bronx Renaissance High School.
As summer fast approaches, learn more about all the valuable resources available to students through our district offices.
SIGN UP⬇️https://t.co/G2wuDV7baa pic.twitter.com/WwqcKQhlYN
— Adriano Espaillat (@RepEspaillat) March 15, 2023
According to the congresswoman, spreading false rumors “is not just a right-wing thing”. Those who made false claims about the event should remove the posts.
“For doing this today, I was subject to a lot of really vile rhetoric and attacks all day today, because of a rumor. And I can’t stress how much this is not just a right-wing thing,” the progressive representative said. “And then even worse, after some of these accounts started platforming and spreading this completely false claim, it circulated big. There was one account where twelve thousand people liked it… It leads to real safety issues and I just think it’s an opportunity for all of us to pause and take a breath because it’s not all it looks like sometimes.”
Ocasio Cortez explained that students applying to military colleges and universities such as West Point must submit an application for a federal nomination. This is from a member or senator of Congress.
“We have a responsibility to inform people of that process and there were a couple of people there to talk about that,” Ocasio-Cortez said trying to set the record straight regarding the military guests’ involvement at the event. “And even that was such a small fraction of the tables and what was there.”
She continued by saying that large accounts, especially for left-leaning spaces and activists, will get it wrong. They can pretend they don’t get it wrong. How are they different from other positions of power?
“If you want to influence the decisions made but have lied about decision-makers in the past, why should people trust anyone who has a history of sharing misinformation and not admitting it after the fact?” Ocasio-Cortez added.
After arguing that military recruiting efforts are geared toward young people, Ocasio-Cortez proposed an amendment to the House Committee on Appropriations bill in 2020.
Ocasio Cortez stated that children should not be targeted for marketing purposes, in addition to their military service. Despite her efforts, Ocasio-Cortez was unable to get the House’s support for the amendment.
How it started vs. how it’s going @AOC pic.twitter.com/J9CKLvDFeG
— Samirah (@SameeraKhan) March 20, 2023
The congresswoman was accused of hypocrisy after she hosted an event connecting high school students with military recruiters.
“Hey @AOC, what’s the deal with this? This is gross. You were sent to DC by the WAR MACHINE to fight against imperialism and fight for the working class & poor. What are you doing now? Stop it,” wrote one user who identified themselves as an eco-socialist and included a photo of the flyer.