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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday issued a rare public rebuke of a fellow Republican, calling freshman GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (Ga.) embrace of conspiracy theories a “cancer” for the party.
While he did not mention her by name, the statement was widely interpreted to be directed at Greene, including by the congresswoman herself who fired back a retort.
What are the details?
In a statement to The Hill, McConnell referred to Greene’s purported embrace of “loony lies and conspiracy theories” as a “cancer for the Republican Party.”
“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. This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”
Greene reacted on Twitter, writing, “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.”
What’s the background?
Greene has only been in office a matter of weeks, but has become a controversial figure after social media posts surfaced showing her calling the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass murder in Parkland, Florida, a “false flag” event, and was seen on video accosting outspoken teenaged survivor David Hogg over his support for gun control.
The Georgia congresswoman has been accused of following the QAnon conspiracy theory, and her social media account activities showed the apparent endorsement of the execution of high-profile Democrats. Greene claims other people were authorized to use her account during that time, and that she did not agree with all of the views espoused.
Several Democratic lawmakers have called for Greene’s removal from office, and party leaders have vowed to take action.
According to Politico, “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) delivered an ultimatum to [House Minority Leader Kevin] McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Monday: Either Republicans move on their own to strip Greene (R-Ga.) of her committee assignments within 72 hours, or Democrats will bring the issue to the House floor.”
The Hill reported, “An aide to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called Greene’s comments ‘deeply disturbing’ and said the leader will speak with her this week.”
Earlier in the day, “The View” co-host Meghan McCain called Greene an embarrassment to Republicans, and the daughter of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said she believes party leadership should strip the congresswoman of her committee assignments.
McCain argued, “The more that the mainstream media continues to come out and say that all Republicans are birthers and crazy people and we believe in space lasers, then the more it makes traditional Republicans — and there’s still a lot of them in the country — go back into their corners.”
The conservative co-host pointed to the media attention granted to Greene, who has received heavy criticism in recent weeks over her rhetoric and behaviors in unearthed social media posts.
“Even for me, I’m sick of trying to defend the fact that this crazy person isn’t like the rest of us,” McCain said of Greene. “She’s sort of loud and embarrassing and not effective. I do think she should be removed from any and all appointments she had, especially [House] Education [Committee].”
Greene was awarded seats on the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Budget Committee last week, The Hill reported.
How did Greene respond?
Greene tweeted Monday, “If Democrats remove me from my committees, I can assure them that the precedent they are setting will be used extensively against members on their side once we regain the majority after the 2022 elections. And we will regain the majority, make no mistake about that.”