Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York this week visited a Border Patrol Facility in Texas.
“I see why CBP officers were being so physically &sexually threatening towards me,” the congresswoman tweeted Monday. “Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets.” The Congresswoman later said that she was told that “officers are under stress & act out sometimes.”
Later on Monday, a report emerged that cast aspersions about Ocasio-Cortez’s behavior during her visit to the facility.
“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., screamed at federal law enforcement agents ‘in a threatening manner’ during a visit to a U.S. Border Patrol facility in El Paso, Texas,” Washington Examiner reporter Anna Giaritelli tweeted Monday in reference to AOC’s visit. The reporter also said that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez “refused to tour the facility.”
The report drew some skepticism immediately for a couple of reasons.
“Screaming at people who torture children seems like a pretty restrained reaction,” journalist Noah Berlatsky tweeted in reference to the report.
In addition, as pointed out on Twitter by Jordan Uhl, Giaritelli is the same reporter who pushed a highly questionable story earlier this year about Islamic “prayer rugs” being found near the border. That story found its way to President Trump’s Twitter account within days. Ocasio-Cortez retweeted Uhl’s tweet on Monday afternoon.
Per The Inquisitr, Giaritelli spoke back in February with a female rancher who claimed that prayer rugs had been found near the border in New Mexico. The rancher, however, did not produce the rugs, or pictures of them, nor provide any other corroboration as to their existence. Furthermore, the “prayer rugs at the border” talking point is a longstanding urban legend, one that even found its way into the 2018 movie Sicario: Day Of the Soldado.
.@AOC says she forced herself into a cell with migrant women being detained at the border and one told her CBP officers were intentionally waking them at odd hours + calling them “whores.”
An officer also laughed at migrants drinking out of toilets. https://t.co/SS4eJIae0Q
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) July 1, 2019
The rancher, in listing the national origins of people who had recently crossed the border, also listed “Czechoslovakians,” although Czechoslovakia ceased to exist as a country in 1990 when it split into Slovakia and The Czech Republic.
Prior to working for The Examiner, Giaritelli was the press secretary for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an anti-immigration group.
Per The Inquisitr, President Trump tweeted about the prayer rugs shortly after the Examiner story, but a White House inquiry later found that there was no basis for the claim. This followed “an urgent effort to find evidence to support the president’s claims.”
ProPublica reported Monday on the existence of a Facebook group for Border Patrol agents, in which participants frequently joke about the death of migrants while also posting a vulgar illustration of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez herself.