U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch signed on Thursday to a move to expel U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress.
Greene’s “really disgusting” comments show why she should not be in the House of Representatives, Deutch said.
Another South Florida Democrat, U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, said “many members of Congress are afraid to be in the building with her.”
The language from Deutch, Frankel and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in a video news conference Thursday was unusually strong — even for members of one party describing those in the opposite party they dislike or disagree with on policy. Separately, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, said Greene’s “behavior is unacceptable” and she should resign.
For now, Republicans are standing by Greene, elected in November to her first term representing a Georgia district, something that drew Deutch’s ire: “Think for a moment what it says if the leadership of the Republican Party chooses, as they have, to take a QAnon supporting, conspiracy-theory-advancing person who personally attacked the survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting, and reward that person by giving her a position on the important Education Committee.”
Republicans appointed her to the education and labor panel this week, even as multiple controversies swirl around Greene. One involves a video that surfaced Wednesday, showing her haranguing David Hogg a year after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The killing of 17 people and wounding of 17 others at the Parkland school Hogg attended turned him into a gun-control activist.
Deutch’s district includes the Parkland school and the surrounding communities that were home to most of the massacre victims. After the Thursday news conference, Deutch’s office said he had signed on to a move to expel Greene from the House. Expulsion has almost zero chance of happening, because it requires a two-thirds vote, which means many Republicans would have to vote in favor. Only five representatives have been expelled in the last 231 years.
Frankel’s reference to members of Congress being afraid to be in the building with Greene refers to multiple instances of Greene using or endorsing violent imagery directed at Democrats. This week, CNN disclosed Facebook comments and likes from before her November 2020 election in which Greene said supported execution of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and FBI agents.
The Facebook posts about Pelosi and FBI agents have since been deleted. Before CNN disclosed them, Greene issued an advance response that didn’t dispute their authenticity or disavow them, saying instead: “Many posts have been liked. Many posts have been shared. Some did not represent my views.”
In September, she posted an image on Facebook of herself holding a gun alongside U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. Her commentary: “We need strong conservative Christians to go on the offense against these socialists who want to rip our country apart.”
Greene is a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which involves the false belief that leading Democratic Party, entertainment and religious leaders are involved in child sex trafficking, Satan worship and cannibalism. Facebook videos surfaced last year showing she’d expressed racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim views, saying members of the Islamic faith should not be allowed to serve in the government. The left-leaning Media Matters for America reported Thursday that Greene espoused a “conspiracy theory that a laser beam from space started deadly 2018 California wildfire.”
She has also offered the false claim that the Stoneman Douglas massacre was a “false flag” operation, carried out by people seeking to gain from its after-effects, or perhaps staged altogether with “crisis actors.”
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was one of the 17 people killed in the massacre, said Thursday that Greene is “depraved.”
“She needs to be out of the Congress and she needs to be out today,” he said on CNN.
Guttenberg posted the Greene-Hogg video on Twitter. Even though it had been on Greene’s Facebook page, after Greene publicized the video, it went viral on Wednesday.
In the video, Greene said, “I’m an American citizen. I’m a gun owner. I have a concealed carry permit. I carry a gun for protection for myself.” Guttenberg said Greene should not possess weapons. “Her behavior, her comments are making her look like a threat to other people. She should have her weapons removed.”
“She says Parkland didn’t happen. She says lot of crazy things,” Guttenberg said.
He promised to go to Washington, where he intends to “meet” with her and live-stream their interaction. He said he would bring proof that his daughter was killed at her school. “She will see things that I have not showed publicly before,” he said. “She can’t question that my daughter was murdered that day.”
Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was one of the 17 murdered at the Parkland school, said on Twitter he supports Greene who “won her primary by nearly 20%, her runoff by nearly 20%, and her General by FIFTY %. The Democrats are now introducing a resolution to expel her from congress because she’s an avid defender of President Trump. I stand with Marjorie!”
As Greene’s pre-election social media posts and other activities have drawn widespread shock and condemnation as more and more of them come to light, she sought to explain one of the incidents on Thursday.
In comments via email, she offered her view on what was going on in a video that surfaced online Wednesday that showed her confronting Hogg in March 2019. He was there to support gun control and she was in town to oppose gun restrictions.
A video posted to Greene’s YouTube page, which resurfaced Wednesday on social media, showed her trailing Hogg, making comments and asking him questions as he walks down a sidewalk, demanding to know how he managed to see elected officials.
Responding to a request for comment about the video and whether she has “any second thoughts or regrets” about it, the Georgia Republican said:
“I was going from office to office in the Senate to oppose the radical gun control agenda that David Hogg was pushing. In 11th grade, one of my fellow students took our school hostage with a gun he brought to our ‘gun-free’ school. I understand that fear firsthand and I will always work to protect our gun rights so that Americans can defend themselves and others against bad people intent to harm or kill them,” Greene said.
In the video, Hogg ignored Greene’s taunts, prompting her to claim he can’t defend his views because he won’t engage her while she’s chasing him. Eventually, she gives up the chase, turned to the camera, and called him a “coward” for not engaging with her.
Hogg detailed his perspective on what happened in multiple Twitter posts on Wednesday. Appearing Thursday on the CNN “New Day” program, he detailed what was going through his mind during the encounter.
“I remember thinking I’m just going to keep a straight face and practice my mindfulness meditation that I’ve often done to help cope with my PTSD and my ADHD as well,” Hogg said. “And it was actually really helpful in that regard because we can see in that video they’re clearly trying to get a rise out of me and the fellow activists that I’m with by asking incredibly triggering questions saying the name of my shooter, the name of the shooter at my high school and stuff like that.”
In the video, Greene said Hogg and his allies were trying to take away her Second Amendment right have firearms for protection. “The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” she said.
In the CNN interview, Hogg said, “Sadly, corrupt elected officials like Marjorie Taylor Greene are in Congress and would rather choose to protect guns than children. And it’s just a horrific reality.”
He said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy should take action to show the party doesn’t support Greene’s attitudes and approach. “My message to Kevin McCarthy is take all of her committee assignments away. Along with that also don’t support her when she runs for re-election again and try and get her primaried.”House Republicans this week put Greene on the Education and Labor Committee. Wasserman Schultz said she would sponsor a resolution to strip Greene of her committee assignments “just in case Kevin McCarthy, as expected, doesn’t do the right thing, to remove her from her committee assignments,” she said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., criticized the House Republican leadership for giving Greene one of the party’s slots on the Education Committee.
“Assigning her to the Education Committee when she has mocked the killing of little children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, when she has mocked the killing of teenagers in high school, at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” Pelosi said Thursday. “What could they be thinking, or is thinking is too generous a word for what they might be doing? It’s absolutely appalling.”