"I used to wake up in the morning and literally get a stack of pictures that were forwarded by Capitol police or FBI. Like, 'These are the people who want to kill you today,' " AOC revealed to the publication.
One of the first threats came one month into her first term after a Coast Guard lieutenant and self-proclaimed white nationalist was arrested in Maryland with a stockpile of weapons in a plot to take out AOC, Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi.
And the danger has spread to the former bartender's inner circle, including her mother and her brother, Gabriel.
"It's the epitome of being shaken to your core," Gabriel told Vanity Fair. "Getting a phone call from the FBI saying, 'Hey, don't open your mail. They're mailing out bombs.'"
The designer of AOC’s Cesar Chavez–inspired campaign posters has received death threats as well, while her former dean at Boston University "regularly fields emails calling him the N-word for 'training' her.'"
Her team began realizing another trend too -- AOC's office would be flooded with hateful voicemails and emails whenever Donald Trump would bash her publicly, including his insults of "poor student" and "wack job."
A turning point came for AOC when a friend explained why she was on the receiving end of such hateful rhetoric. "It's to get you to destroy yourself so that they don't have to destroy you," she recalled of her friend's wisdom.
Now in her attempts to stay safe and rise above the violent vitriol, the Bronx native also credits the "squad" -- Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib -- for their unwavering support.
"There have been many times, especially in the first six months, where I felt like I couldn't do this, like I didn't know if I was going to be able to run for reelection," AOC divulged. "There was a time where the volume of threats had gotten so high that I didn't even know if I was going to live to my next term."
"Their sisterhood and their friendship, it's not some political alliance. It's a very deep, unconditional human bond."