Politics

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene expresses some regret about conspiracy claims ahead of vote to punish her

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Key Points
  • Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Thursday said she regrets some of the false conspiracy theories she had promoted in the past, including her expressions of support for QAnon.
  • "I was allowed to believe things that weren't true and I would ask questions about them and talk about them," Greene said, "and that is absolutely what I regret."
  • Greene offered no specific apology in her latest remarks and spent a significant chunk of her speech decrying the mainstream media and "cancel culture."
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene speaking on the House floor on Thurs. Feb, 2021.
CSPAN

Ahead of a vote to kick her off two House committees, Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Thursday said she regrets some of the false conspiracy theories she had promoted in the past, including her expressions of support for QAnon.

"I was allowed to believe things that weren't true and I would ask questions about them and talk about them," Greene said, "and that is absolutely what I regret."

The Georgia lawmaker, who has faced intense bipartisan criticism for her past comments, claimed in a speech on the House floor that she does not believe in a number of the conspiracies she had peddled before taking office. But she offered no specific apology in her latest remarks and spent a significant chunk of her speech decrying the mainstream media and "cancel culture."

"I'm a very regular American," Greene said. She later added: "I never said any of these things since I have been elected for Congress."

She walked back her support of QAnon, the outlandish internet-born conspiracy that former President Donald Trump was engaged in a secret battle to root out a cabal of criminal political elites made up of Democrats, Hollywood insiders and the "deep state."

Believers in the conspiracy were among those seen at the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol by a swarm of Trump's supporters.

Greene in 2017 had reportedly called QAnon "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out."

But on the House floor Thursday, Greene said that by 2018, "When I started finding misinformation, lies, things that were not true in these QAnon posts, I stopped believing it."

Greene's speech addressed a litany of her most-criticized past remarks, including her reported suggestion that some school shootings had been staged.

"School shootings are absolutely real," she said Thursday. "I know the fear that David Hogg had that day," she said, referring to the survivor of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, whom she had previously mocked.

"I also want to tell you, 9/11 absolutely happened," said Greene, who in 2018 reportedly expressed support for the conspiracy theory that a plane did not hit the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. "I definitely want to tell you, I do not believe that it's fake."

She also appeared to address one of her more recent controversies: a CNN report showing her Facebook profile on which she had liked or responded approvingly toward messages advocating executing prominent Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"If it weren't for the Facebook posts and comments that I liked in 2018, I wouldn't be standing here today and you couldn't point a finger and accuse me of anything wrong," claimed Greene, who has promoted numerous other conspiracies and incendiary messages.

NBC News reported that Greene had disavowed some of her conspiracies during a closed-door meeting of the Republican caucus Wednesday evening. Prior to her floor speech Thursday, however, Greene had remained publicly defiant.

Greene claims she recently spoke with Trump and has his support. But other Republican leaders have, to varying degrees, criticized Greene for her past remarks.

California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the House, said Wednesday he "unequivocally" condemns her comments. But he went on to attack Democrats for refusing to censure their own members who have made controversial remarks.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered a more full-throated rejection of Greene's "loony lies and conspiracy theories," calling them "cancer for the Republican Party and our country."

The House is set to vote Thursday afternoon on whether to strip Greene of her assignments to the Budget Committee and the Education and Labor Committee.

McCarthy had tried to avoid a vote on Greene, proposing instead that the GOP would strip her of her Education Committee assignment if she could remain on the Budget panel, a source told NBC News. Democrats rejected that offer.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Wednesday that after he spoke with McCarthy, "it is clear there is no alternative to holding a Floor vote on the resolution to remove Rep. Greene from her committee assignments."

The resolution passed through the House Rules Committee after a hearing later that day, over the objections of Republican members who argued about process and warned that it set a dangerous precedent for a majority party to rescind a minority member's committee placements.