Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks out after House removes her from committees

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WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene held a news conference Friday, a day after the House of Representatives meted out the unprecedented punishment that Democrats said she’d earned by spreading hateful and violent conspiracy theories.

The House voted 230 to 199 to strip Greene of her committee assignments Thursday, with 11 Republicans supporting the decision. Two Democrats and one Republican did not vote.

“I woke up early this morning literally laughing thinking about what a bunch of morons the Democrats (+11) are for giving some one like me free time,” she tweeted.

Greene was on the Education and Labor committee and the Budget committee. Some lawmakers were especially concerned about her assignment to the education panel, due to her suggestions prior to being elected that school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and Parkland, Florida, could be hoaxes.

At a news conference later outside the Capitol, Greene accused news organizations of “addicting our nation to hate.” She deflected a question about her past online suggestion that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could be executed for treason, and warned that Republicans opposing her should remember that Trump — with whom she is closely allied — controls the GOP.

“The party is his,” she said. “It doesn’t belong to anybody else.”

Greene delivered remarks before her colleagues Thursday, saying she regrets some “words of the past.”

“These were words of the past and these things do not represent me, they do not represent my (congressional) district and they do not represent my values,” Greene said.

“I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true, and I would ask questions about them and talk about them. And that is absolutely what I regret,” she said.

But Greene didn’t specifically apologize for expressing racist views or supporting violence against Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Contradicting past social media posts, she said she believes the 9/11 attacks and mass school shootings were real and no longer believes QAnon conspiracy theories.

In her speech Thursday, Greene also assailed the media.

“You see, big media companies can take teeny tiny pieces of words that I’ve said, that you have said – any of us – and can portray us into someone that we’re not. And that is wrong. Cancel culture is a real thing,” Greene said.

During the debate, Democrats attempted to directly appeal to their Republican colleagues.

At one point, No. 2 Democratic leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland strode to the GOP side of the chamber carrying a poster of a Greene Facebook post from last year. “Squad’s Worst Nightmare,” Greene had written in the post, which showed her holding an AR-15 firearm next to pictures of three of the four Democratic lawmakers, all young women of color, who’ve been nicknamed “The Squad.”

“They are people. They are our colleagues,” Hoyer said. He mimicked Greene’s pose holding the weapon and said, “I have never, ever seen that before.”

Some Republicans expressed concern about punishing lawmakers over statements made before they were in office.

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Pelosi hadn’t stripped committee memberships from Democrats who became embroiled in controversy.

“If that’s the new standard,” he said of Democrats’ move against Greene, “we have a long list.”

But McCarthy also said that Greene’s past opinions “do not represent the views of my party.”

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said Democrats were setting a precedent by punishing lawmakers for statements made before they were even candidates for Congress. 

But some Republicans in the Senate called on GOP House leaders to act.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Greene’s words a “cancer” on the GOP and country.

On Thursday, No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Thune of South Dakota  said House Republicans needed to issue a “really strong” rebuke of Greene’s conspiratorial formulations.

Republicans must “get away from members dabbling in conspiracy theories,” Thune said. “I don’t think that’s a productive course of action or one that’s going to lead to much prosperity politically in the future.”

Committee assignments are crucial for lawmakers for shaping legislation affecting their districts, creating a national reputation and raising campaign contributions. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Reporting by Alan Fram and Brian Slodysko.

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