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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Challenger Facing Backlash

On January 6, a group of right-wing rioters stormed the US capitol in an attempt to overturn former president Donald Trump’s loss in the recent election to Joe Biden. It has now been revealed that Tina Forte, a Republican congressional candidate running in 2022 to overtake the New York seat currently held by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was one of those rioters on that fateful day. She had livestreamed her experience on Facebook, and even took pictures with other rioters.

Forte, who is considered a MAGA (Make America Great Again) influencer, had promoted the rallies supporting the overturning of President Trump’s election loss that eventually turned into the riots. On January 6th, Forte had posted a picture of herself on Twitter with the caption “1776” in reference to the American Revolutionary War. In another video posted by Forte, Forte exclaims, “I’m wearing a bulletproof vest, because I’m on everybody’s f****** hit list that you can possibly think of. Now we’re at the capital, and now we’re on to the next one.” In a later interview with Newsmax, a conservative news network, Forte claims, “This is our house, and we have the right to be here. We are in our house, OK.” Forte has been revealed to have entered a restricted space on the White House lawn to carry artwork of Nancy Pelosi after the rioting crowd toppled over the barriers that were previously installed. The live videos that Forte recorded were available on Facebook for months.

However, a statement by Forte has been released recently, denying her attendance of the insurrection. She states, ‘’No, I was not a part of the Capitol Riot on January 6th. I was there for a flag drop of Nancy Pelosi for artist Scott Lobaido. That was planned for 2 weeks prior to January 6th. I absolutely did NOT enter the Capitol building. I have said it again and again, what happened at the Capitol is disgusting. I do not condone violence or destruction on either side. I am not nor will I ever be a part of that.”

These comments by Forte directly contradict a Facebook live video in which she said, “Get your a***s to the Capitol. We need to fight for our freedom, fight for our country, fight for our president, fight for our constitution.”

Her actions had consequences. Facebook has removed multiple posts for violating its policies surrounding dangerous organizations and individuals. Her official Instagram account, @officialrealtina40, has also been disabled and removed by the platform.

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