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GOP's Greene faces backlash over radical new revelations

Each new revelation about Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) seems worse than the last. A backlash was inevitable.
Image: Marjorie Taylor Greene
Republican congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks to a GOP women's group in Rome, Ga., on March 3, 2020.John Bailey / Rome News-Tribune via AP file

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's (R-Ga.) record of radicalism was already well documented, though the last several days have made the right-wing congresswoman's twisted ideology appear even worse.

Last week, for example, Media Matters noted a newly uncovered online exchange in which Greene, as recently as 2018, endorsed the idea that U.S. government was responsible for the 9/11 attacks and deadly mass shootings in schools -- including the massacre at Sandy Hook in Newtown Elementary -- weren't real.

On Tuesday, CNN added to Greene's record, reporting on her online interactions in 2018 and 2019 in which the Georgia Republican expressed support for violence against Democratic elected officials. This included an instance in which she liked a comment that said "a bullet to the head would be quicker" to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Yesterday, the public learned of a video Greene posted to YouTube this month in which she publicly harassed a survivor of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

As NBC News reported, the revelations, not surprisingly, have sparked a backlash against the right-wing congresswoman.

Greene has served in Congress for only a few weeks, but she has already faced calls from some colleagues to resign over the spreading of false information about the election in the run-up to the Capitol riot this month. Greene denounced the violence but blamed the left and the media. Greene's office didn't comment to NBC News. In a tweet Tuesday ahead of the CNN story, Greene called the report "a hit piece on me focused on my time before running for political office."

The fact that the revelations come from online content that predates her new congressional career is not exactly a persuasive defense. At issue is not youthful indiscretions from Greene's childhood; these are videos and social-media interactions from less than three years ago.

The question now is what happens next.

Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.) yesterday called on Greene to resign or face expulsion. Similarly, Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) announced plans to introduce a resolution to expel Greene from the House.

As best as I can tell, no Republican members rallied to her defense, but House GOP leaders didn't rush to condemn Greene, either.

A spokesperson for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told Axios on Tuesday night that the GOP leader is aware of the latest revelations and will discuss them with Greene. The emailed statement added, in reference to the revelations from the CNN report, "These comments are deeply disturbing and Leader McCarthy plans to have a conversation with the congresswoman about them."

The obvious follow-up question is, when will this conversation take place and what will be said?

As we discussed yesterday, House Republican leaders have meaningful options. McCarthy and his team could call for Greene's expulsion from the U.S. House. They could also strip Greene of her committee assignments -- which is precisely what McCarthy did to then-Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) two years ago, concluding at the time that the House Republican conference would no longer "tolerate" the Iowan's record of racism.

Greene was recently appointed to the House Education and Labor Committee. It's an appointment GOP leaders could choose to revoke. Indeed, I'd be eager to hear McCarthy and other top House Republicans explain why Greene's record of radicalism is less offensive than King's.

As for the possibility of expulsion, a rare move in which members vote to kick a colleague out of the House altogether, this would require a two-thirds majority. It's likely Republicans would resist such a move, though it's worth emphasizing that Greene represents one of the reddest districts in the United States -- and if she were expelled, local voters would no doubt elect a Republican in her place.

Update: At a press conference this afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters, in reference to GOP leaders assigning Greene to the committee that oversees education policy, "Assigning her to the Education Committee when she has mocked the killing of little children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. When she has mocked the killing of teenagers in high school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. What could they be thinking? Or is 'thinking' too generous a word for what they might be doing? It is absolutely appalling."