Politics

GOP leader Kevin McCarthy condemns Marjorie Taylor Greene comparing Covid rules to the Holocaust

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Key Points
  • House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy condemned a member of his own party, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, for her recent comments comparing Covid-related safety measures with the Holocaust.
  • "Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling," McCarthy said in a statement.
  • Greene on Tuesday morning tweeted, "Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi's forced Jewish people to wear a gold star."
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., joined by fellow House Republicans, speaks during a news conference on the current conflict between Israel and the Hamas in Washington on Thursday, May 20, 2021.
Caroline Brehman | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday condemned a member of his own party, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, for her recent comments comparing Covid-related safety measures with the Holocaust.

"Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling," McCarthy said in a statement.

"The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling," he said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also blasted Greene, calling her comments "outrageous" and "reprehensible."

McConnell's spokesman pointed out on Twitter that the Senate leader had previously slammed Greene's "loony lies and conspiracy theories" as a "cancer for the Republican Party and our country."

Over the weekend, Greene had compared the mask mandate on the floor of the House chamber to the Holocaust. "We can look back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens — so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany," Greene said, according to NBC News.

VIDEO0:5200:52
Rep. Greene blasts 11 GOP lawmakers who voted to remove her from committees

Greene on Tuesday morning tweeted, "Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi's forced Jewish people to wear a gold star."

She was responding to a report from a local Tennessee outlet on a decision by supermarket chain Food City to have fully vaccinated employees display a logo on their name badge.

Greene is a freshman lawmaker from Georgia who in February had been stripped of her committee assignments as punishment for pushing an array of extremist conspiracy theories. Reportedly among them was her claim in 2018 that wildfires had possibly been caused by space lasers funded by the Rothschild family, the target of many antisemitic conspiracies.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to the media during a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 11, 2021.
Joshua Roberts | Reuters

But the statement Tuesday from McCarthy, who had previously declined to censure Greene, also tried to cast blame on his Democratic colleagues for rising antisemitism.

"At a time when the Jewish people face increased violence and threats, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi," McCarthy said.

"Americans must stand together to defeat anti-Semitism and any attempt to diminish the history of the Holocaust," he said. "Let me be clear: the House Republican Conference condemns this language."

In a defiant statement Tuesday, Greene defended her remarks and doubled down on her assertion that attempts to "shame" people who refuse to follow Covid rules are "reminiscent of the great tyrants of history who did the same to those who would not comply."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called Greene's recent comments "sickening and reprehensible."

"She should stop this vile language immediately," Schumer said.

CNBC's Jacob Pramuk and Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.