Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell denounced newly elected Rep. 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.”
“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,” said McConnell, R-Ky., referring to a handful of conspiracy theories that Greene has publicized 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.”
McConnell’s explicit condemnation adds to pressure on House Republicans to take action against Greene even as she is claiming renewed support from former President Donald Trump. It comes as House Democrats moved Monday to strip Greene of her committee assignments if Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., refuses to do so himself.
“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,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. “But we are prepared to do so if necessary.”
Thus far, however, GOP leaders in the House have been reluctant to criticize Trump supporters, like Greene, out of concern that they could alienate the former president’s most ardent voters, underscoring a bitter divide over how the out-of-power party should navigate the two years until the next congressional elections.
Greene responded to McConnell late Monday with a broadside on Twitter, suggesting that “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,” she wrote.
McConnell’s statement criticizing Greene was first reported by The Hill newspaper.
Democrats’ willingness to act against a member of the opposing party underscores their desire to confront far-right politicians, like Greene, who are closely aligned with some of former Trump’s fringe supporters, including extremist groups that were involved in the violent Capitol insurrection.
“If Republicans won’t police their own, the House must step in,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who is sponsoring the measure to remove Greene from her posts on the House education and budget committees.
Greene’s views were in the spotlight even before she joined the House last month.
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’d expressed racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim views. Top Republicans denounced her at the time, hoping to…
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