Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), the freshman congresswoman who was stripped of her committee assignments earlier this year, was spotted Wednesday chasing after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) accusing her of supporting “terrorists.”
The incident prompted Ocasio-Cortez’s office to call on House leadership to do what it can to ensure members’ safety.
Two Washington Post reporters witnessed the incident, which occurred when Ocasio-Cortez left the House chamber and did not stop to talk after Greene twice called her name.
Greene then “picked up her pace” and began “shouting” at Ocasio-Cortez, the Post reported, demanding that the New York congresswoman publicly debate her.
The Georgia congresswoman reportedly shouted: “You don’t care about the American people,” and, “Why do you support terrorists and antifa?”
Greene has reportedly previously used the term “terrorists” to refer to Black Lives Matter, a widespread and overwhelmingly peaceful movement against racism and police brutality that grew to new heights last summer. Antifa, a loose organization of left-wing activists concerned with rooting out right-wing extremists in government, has been falsely accused by right-wing pundits of having orchestrated the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Ocasio-Cortez turned around once, the paper said, throwing her hands up “in an exasperated motion” and appearing to say something to the freshman lawmaker before walking away once again.
A spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez confirmed that the confrontation took place but did not comment on what the New York congresswoman said.
“Representative Greene tried to begin an argument with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and when Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tried to walk away, Congresswoman Greene began screaming and called Rep. Ocasio-Cortez a terrorist sympathizer,” Lauren Hitt said in a statement to the Post. “We hope leadership and the Sergeant at Arms will take real steps to make Congress a safe, civil place for all Members and staff — especially as many offices are discussing reopening. One Member has already been forced to relocate her office due to Congresswoman Greene’s attacks.”
Hitt was referring to Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), who moved her office shortly after the freshman class of lawmakers was sworn into Congress in late January. After Greene confronted Bush in a hallway while not wearing a mask at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bush said that she was concerned for the safety of her staff.
On Wednesday, as Ocasio-Cortez continued to walk away, Greene told reporters that her political opponent was a “chicken” and “doesn’t want to debate the Green New Deal.”
“That’s pathetic,” Greene reportedly said.
Asked about the incident on Thursday afternoon, Ocasio-Cortez told reporters: “This isn’t even about how I feel. I refuse to allow young women, people of color, people who are standing up for what they believe to see this kind of intimidation attempt by a person who supports white supremacists.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed Greene’s behavior during her weekly press conference on Thursday morning, calling it “egregious.”
“This is beneath the dignity of a person serving in the Congress of the United States, and is a cause for trauma and fear among members, especially on the heels of an insurrection,” Pelosi said. She said Greene’s behavior “could rise to the level of an ethics complaint” and called on GOP members of Congress to take action.
Greene has campaigned for weeks on social media for Ocasio-Cortez to debate her about the progressive legislation, promising to read “all 14 pages” of the proposal beforehand.
She also has a history of confronting her political opponents and posting about it on social media, including David Hogg, the teen who became a gun control activist after a mass shooting at his Florida high school, and Rep. Marie Newman, a Democrat from Illinois who hung a transgender pride flag outside her office door in honor of her daughter. Greene responded by hanging a poster across the hall saying “there are TWO genders.”
On Twitter on Thursday, Hogg commented on the incident, writing: “Why can’t MTG just leave people alone and do her job?”
In another tweet, Hogg asked Greene, “When can we expect your resignation?”
Greene has also caused headaches for her GOP colleagues since arriving on Capitol Hill for her past anti-Semitic comments and her support for QAnon, a conspiracy theory that posits President Donald Trump was working to purge Satanist child sex traffickers from the top tiers of government. On social media, she also supported executing elected Democrats.
The Democrat-controlled House voted to strip Greene of her committee assignments one month into her tenure as a congresswoman.
Shortly thereafter, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) spoke to Greene about the gravity of her new position in Congress. She has not faced punitive measures from those in her party.