Politics

Democratic lawmakers call for removal of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene over incendiary rhetoric

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Key Points
  • Lawmakers and activists are calling to remove freshman GOP Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from the House Education Committee and from Congress.
  • Videos and social media activity from 2018 and 2019 recently resurfaced that show Greene harassing a survivor of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, falsely suggesting that several deadly school and mass shootings were staged, indicating support for executing prominent Democrats, and expressing approval of far-right conspiracy theories.
Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) wearing a mask, which reads "Trump won", speaks with a colleague on the opening day of the 117th Congress on the opening day of the 117th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 3, 2021.
Bill O'Leary | Reuters

Lawmakers and activists are calling to remove freshman GOP Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from the House Education Committee and from Congress.

Videos and social media activity from 2018 and 2019 recently resurfaced that show Greene harassing a survivor of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, falsely suggesting that several deadly school and mass shootings were staged, indicating support for executing prominent Democrats, and expressing approval of far-right conspiracy theories.

"It's absolutely appalling and I think that the focus has to be on the Republican leadership of this House of Representatives for the disregard they have for the deaths of those children," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a weekly news conference Thursday.

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene under fire for fringe views

Democratic Rep. Jahana Hayes circulated a letter Thursday asking House Republican leadership to remove Greene from her appointment on the House Committee on Education and Labor. Hayes represents Connecticut's 5th District, including Newtown, where the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School occurred in 2012.

Democratic Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California announced Thursday he would introduce a resolution to expel Greene from Congress that would require a two-thirds majority to pass.

House Ethics Committee Chairman Rep. Ted Deutch also expressed support for Greene's removal from Congress. The Democrat's Florida district includes Parkland, where the 2018 deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School occurred.

The Georgia chapter of youth-led gun safety organization March For Our Lives led a demonstration Friday morning outside Greene's office in Rome, Georgia. The group organized the event in response to a resurfaced video of Greene heckling David Hogg, a Parkland shooting survivor and co-founder of March For Our Lives, in 2019.

Activists demanded the immediate resignation or expulsion of the congresswoman. A petition calling for Greene's resignation circulated by March For Our Lives received more than 100,000 signatures in 24 hours, the group said.

"We're tired of her bringing shame onto our region," Omar Rodriguez, an organizer with the Northwest Georgia Justice Coalition and a constituent in Greene's district, said at the demonstration. "Greene is not one of us."

Gun violence prevention groups Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action also called for Greene's resignation.

The Republican Jewish Coalition released a statement Friday saying the group "has never supported or endorsed Marjorie Taylor Greene. We are offended and appalled by her comments and her actions."

"She is far outside the mainstream of the Republican Party, and the RJC is working closely with the House Republican leadership regarding next steps in this matter," the group said.

A spokesperson for House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement that Greene's comments are "deeply disturbing" and "Leader McCarthy plans to have a conversation with the Congresswoman about them."

In an interview Thursday on CNN, Hogg had a message for McCarthy, "If you say this is not your party, actually call it out and hold her accountable, because Republicans always act as if they're the party of decency and respect."

"But would the party of decency and respect question whether or not school shootings happened? Would they harass the survivors of these shootings for having different opinions than them?" Hogg asked.

Greene's office did not respond to CNBC's requests for comment. The congresswoman released a defiant statement Friday in response to the growing criticism and attempted to direct attention to next year's midterm House elections.

Rep. Cori Bush, a Democrat from Missouri, said Friday she is moving her office away from Greene's after the Georgia congresswoman "berated" her.

Bush, in reference to the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, noted that she has "called for the expulsion of members who incited the insurrection from Day 1." Greene supported efforts to overturn Joe Biden's presidential victory and was one of 147 Republican lawmakers who voted against election results after the attack on the Capitol.

A news crew from NBC affiliate WRCB was reportedly removed from a town hall event on Wednesday and threatened with arrest after trying to ask Greene a question.

Leading up to her November 2020 election, Greene boosted the QAnon conspiracy theory whose followers believe that a cabal of Satanic, pedophilic Democrats and other institutional figures control the government and intended to undermine former President Trump.

Prominent supporters of QAnon were among the pro-Trump extremists who stormed the Capitol during the riot that left five people dead.

The freshman lawmaker began her congressional candidacy in Georgia's 6th District, then decided to run in the 14th District when the incumbent Tom Graves announced he would not seek reelection. Her Democratic opponent dropped out of the race and Greene won her seat in the northern Georgia district by nearly 50 percentage points.