Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s support for dangerous conspiracy theories a “cancer” on the Republican Party, a blunt castigation of the freshman lawmaker by one of her own party’s leaders.
“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 in a statement first obtained by The Hill. “This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”
Greene has faced a firestorm of criticism after the media detailed her yearslong history of controversial social media posts. Before her election, she supported false claims that the Parkland, Florida, and Newtown, Connecticut, school shootings were staged, “liked” Facebook posts that called for the killing of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and publicly mused that a space laser may have caused 2018’s deadly wildfires in California.
McConnell said such comments were “loony lies” and “conspiracy theories.”
Greene replied by telling her growing Twitter audience: “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.”
Democrats began preparing on Monday to strip Greene of her committee assignments later this week if Republican leaders fail to hold her accountable for her social media posts and other controversial comments. The House Rules Committee said it would meet on Wednesday to discuss plans to remove her from the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Budget Committee, effectively delivering Republicans an ultimatum to penalize Greene themselves.
But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who said he found Green’s comments “disturbing,” doesn’t appear to have met with her yet and is weighing how to respond. The Georgia congresswoman represents the faction of the party that is still deeply aligned with former President Donald Trump.
“If Kevin McCarthy doesn’t have the courage to do what is right and remove her from these committees, then we will,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Rules Committee, said Monday.
Top Democrats have called for Greene to be censured or even expelled from the chamber, although that last step would require almost 70 House Republicans to join the effort. Greene has pledged retribution on Twitter should she be removed from her committee assignments.
“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,” Greene wrote. “And we will regain the majority, make no mistake about that.”