Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene has lashed out at “morons” in both parties who voted to kick her off two committees, a day after the House of Representatives meted out the unprecedented punishment that Democrats said she had earned by spreading hateful and violent conspiracy theories.
All but 11 Republicans voted against the Democratic move on Thursday but none rose to defend her lengthy history of outrageous social media posts.
In the most riveting moment of the day’s debate, the new Republican legislator from Georgia took to the House floor on her own behalf, offering a mixture of backpedalling and finger-pointing as she wore a dark mask emblazoned with the words “free speech”.
The chamber’s near party-line 230-199 vote was the latest instance of conspiracy theories becoming pitched political battlefields, an increasingly familiar occurrence during Donald Trump’s presidency.
He faces a Senate trial next week for his House impeachment for inciting insurrection after a mob he fuelled with his false narrative of a stolen election attacked the Capitol.
Thursday’s fight also underscored the uproar and political complexities that Ms Greene — a master of provoking Democrats, promoting herself and raising campaign money — has prompted since becoming a House candidate last year.
She showed no signs of repentance on Friday, tweeting: “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.”
At a news conference later outside the Capitol, she accused news organisations 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 Mr Trump — with whom she is closely allied — controls the Republican party.
“The party is his,” she said. “It doesn’t belong to anybody else.”
A day earlier on the House floor, she had tried to dissociate herself from her “words of the past”. 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.
But she did not explicitly apologise for supportive online remarks she has made on other subjects, as when she mulled Ms Pelosi being assassinated or the possibility of Jewish-controlled space rays causing wildfires, and she portrayed herself as the victim of unscrupulous “big media companies”.
News organisations “can take teeny, tiny pieces of words that I’ve said, that you have said, any of us, and can portray us as someone that we’re not”, she said.
Ms Greene was on the Education and Labour Committee and the Budget Committee. Democrats were especially aghast about her assignment to the education panel, considering the past doubt she cast on school shootings in Florida and Connecticut.