Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell denounced newly elected Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday, calling the far-right Georgia Republican’s embrace of conspiracy theories and “loony lies” a “cancer for the Republican Party” as Democrats moved to remove Greene from her committee appointments.
“Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr’s airplane is not living in reality,” McConnell said, referring to a handful of conspiracy theories that Greene has publicised in the past.
“This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”
The Georgia Republican has expressed support for QAnon conspiracy theories, which focus on the debunked belief that top Democrats are involved in child sex trafficking, Satan worship and cannibalism.
Facebook videos surfaced last year showing she had expressed racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim views. Top Republicans denounced her at the time, hoping to block her from capturing the GOP nomination in her reliably red congressional district in northwest Georgia.
Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz introduced a resolution to remove Greene from her seats on the education and budget committees of the House of Representatives.
“We can’t stop her from speaking,” Wasserman Schultz told an online news conference with two other Democrats, Representatives Ted Deutch and Jahana Hayes. “What we can do though, is essentially render her nearly powerless. That’s what the intent of this resolution is.”
McConnell, the Senate minority leader, appeared to agree with Schultz in a statement to reporters: “Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country.”
Greene struck back at McConnell on Twitter, saying: “The real cancer for the Republican Party is weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully.”
The real cancer for the Republican Party is weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully.
This is why we are losing our country.
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) February 2, 2021
She earlier warned Democrats that Republicans could remove them from committee positions if they win control of the House in 2022 elections.
“And we will regain the majority, make no mistake about that,” she wrote on Twitter.
Greene has floated a conspiracy theory in an undated video that falsely suggests that the 2017 mass shooting that killed 58 people at a country music festival in Las Vegas could have been a false flag operation to build support for gun control legislation.
She also “liked” a Facebook post that challenged the veracity of a 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Another video captured her confronting Parkland, Florida, school shooting survivor David Hogg.
Last week, Pelosi pressed House Republicans to take action.
“Assigning her to the education committee, when she has mocked the killing of little children” in Newtown, “what could they be thinking, or is thinking too generous a word for what they might be doing?” Pelosi said of Republican leaders. “It’s absolutely appalling.”
In a tweet over the weekend, Greene sounded a defiant tone. She also said she had spoken to Trump, who appears to remain the de facto leader of the party, and was “grateful for his support”.
Greene appeared to try to backtrack on Monday on some of her previous online comments, telling an interviewer that school shootings were “terrible” but that they did not have to happen if there could be a “good guy” at a school with a gun to protect students.
The House Rules Committee set a hearing on the Democratic measure for Greene for Wednesday, indicating it could be on the floor of the chamber for a vote later in the week.
“It is my hope and expectation that Republicans will do the right thing and hold Rep. Greene accountable, and we will not need to consider this resolution,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a comment emailed to Reuters news agency. “But we are prepared to do so if necessary.”