One of the newest members of Congress is under intense scrutiny from her own party following her promotion of conspiracy theories and inflammatory comments supporting violence against other lawmakers.
At least 67 House Democrats have signed on to a forthcoming resolution that calls for the expulsion of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from Congress. Others are pushing to censure Greene, who won Georgia’s 14th congressional district seat in November in her first run for office. Democrats have also said they will force Greene off multiple committees this week, with or without the help of their Republican colleagues.
The moves came after a CNN review of comments and posts on Greene’s Facebook page revealed that she indicated support for executing Democratic politicians in 2018 and 2019.
Amid mounting pressure, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy plans to meet with Greene sometime this week. On Feb. 1, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell condemned Greene’s “loony lies and conspiracy theories” as a “cancer for the Republican Party.”
“Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality,” McConnell said in a statement first sent to The Hill.
Greene fired back on Twitter, saying: “The real cancer for the Republican Party is weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully.” In a statement published Jan. 29, Greene said she would “never back down.”
A Message to the Mob from Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene pic.twitter.com/bdbG4OGrlK
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) January 29, 2021
“Every attack. Every lie. Every smear strengthens my base of support at home and across the country because people know the truth and are fed up with the lies,” she wrote.
Greene, who describes herself as a businesswoman who has run a construction company and a CrossFit gym, was one of 147 Republicans who voted in favor of objections to the results of the presidential election in early January and has falsely claimed there was widespread voter fraud. She has praised QAnon, a baseless conspiracy theory that claims Democrats and Hollywood celebrities are Satan-worshipping, cannibalistic pedophiles. Greene has also floated theories that mass shootings were staged to challenge Second Amendment rights and that Hillary Clinton murdered her political opponents.
PolitiFact took a closer look at Greene’s promotion of conspiracy theories over the years.
Greene promoted baseless conspiracy theories that widespread voter fraud helped put Joe Biden in the White House, often on Twitter.
Over the next two months, and in spite of Twitter warning labels, Greene continued to tweet about voter fraud allegations, with the word “fraud” appearing 26 times.
“Without the widespread voter fraud, out-of-state voters, mail-in ballots from dead people, and ‘discovery’ of hidden ballots, we all know that President Trump wins our state in a landslide,” she said in a Dec. 14 statement. (Pants on Fire!)
In January, Twitter temporarily banned Greene for violating its misinformation policy after she floated more baseless claims about voter fraud in Georgia. That’s because there is no credible evidence that fraud affected the outcome of the election.
Still, Greene’s false voter fraud narrative found a home on friendly TV networks like Newsmax and One America News Network.
“I know we’re not a blue state. I know for a fact that President Trump won here in Georgia. I feel it 1,000%,” she said on OAN Jan. 19, the day before Biden’s inauguration. (Pants on Fire!)
At a Trump rally Jan. 4, Greene said she refused to “certify fraudulent electoral college votes” for Biden.
Greene has made several statements that indicate her support of the vast pro-Trump conspiracy theory known as QAnon.
QAnon claims public figures like Hillary Clinton, Tom Hanks and Oprah Winfrey are Satan-worshipping, cannibalistic pedophiles. The theory is based on posts from Q, an anonymous internet persona who claims to be a government insider with information on a “deep state” plot to work against Trump. QAnon supporters believe that top military generals convinced Trump to run for president in 2016 to bring the cabal of pedophiles to justice.
“Have you guys been following 4chan, Q — any of that stuff?” Greene says at the start of a video from November 2017. “I don’t know who Q is, but I’m just going to tell you about it because I think it’s something worth listening to and paying attention to.”
Over 30 minutes, Greene lays out several tenets of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
“There’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out, and I think we have the president to do it,” she said.
QAnon evolved from the Pizzagate conspiracy theory about child sex trafficking and prominent Democrats — another conspiracy theory Greene promoted.
NBC News reported in August that, prior to running for office, Greene wrote dozens of articles as a “correspondent” for a now-defunct conspiracy news site called American Truth Seekers.
Greene has also promoted conspiracy theories closely associated with QAnon and Pizzagate, including a bogus narrative documented by the liberal research group Media Matters that holds Clinton and her longtime aide Huma Abedin sexually assaulted a young girl as part of a gruesome ritual.
In 2019, Greene speculated that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a body double — another popular conspiracy theory among QAnon supporters.
In a February 2019 video published by a pro-Trump website on Facebook, a caller asked Greene if she’d seen a video of Ginsburg walking through Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Here’s the exchange:
Caller: “This woman has been drawn over for how many years, and all of a sudden she’s walking straight upright like it’s a whole new person. Do you believe that is Ruth?”
Host: “It’s almost like a body double like Hillary Clinton. Yeah, like a body double for Hillary Clinton. So it’s interesting.”
Greene: “I do not believe that was Ruth, no. I don’t think so.”
On several occasions, Greene has endorsed or entertained “false flag” conspiracy theories, which say that some major news events, such as mass shootings, were staged or planned for a political purpose.
In one American Truth Seekers article published in October 2017, Greene ruminated on whether the Las Vegas massacre that killed 58 concertgoers was orchestrated as part of a plot to dismantle Second Amendment rights.
“The Second Amendment is under attack. At least I believe it is, and I believe gun control will be the controlled reaction to the horror that unfolded over a week ago at the Route 91 Harvest Festival,” she wrote. “Now there is another source that says that could be the very motive of the Las Vegas Massacre.”
The theory was bogus; the FBI found no motive for the mass shooting, and there is no evidence it was a coordinated plot to reform federal firearm laws. But it wasn’t the last time Greene floated a false flag conspiracy theory.
In a May 2018 Facebook post, Greene shared a Fox News article about the pension of Scot Peterson, a former Broward County, Florida, sheriff’s deputy who was fired for his response during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A few commenters floated a theory that the shooting was orchestrated.
“It’s called a pay off to keep his mouth shut since it was a false flag planned shooting,” one user wrote.
“Exactly,” Greene replied.
In another reply to a comment on the post, Greene said Peterson was “paid to do what he did and keep his mouth shut!” (The post has since been deleted.)
The Parkland shooting killed 17 people. The shooting was not a false flag event, and those who survived are not “crisis actors.” We awarded that conspiracy theory and related smears against the Parkland students our 2018 Lie of the Year.
But in another now-deleted Facebook post published in December 2018, Greene floated an alternative theory about Democrats’ motivations for supporting gun restrictions: “I am told that Nancy Pelosi tells Hillary Clinton several times a month that ‘we need another school shooting’ in order to persuade the public to want strict gun control.”
Greene has also promoted bogus claims about 9/11, laser beams and forest fires.
“Barack Obama becomes president in 2008, OK? By that time in our American history, we had had George Bush for eight years … we had witnessed 9/11, the terrorist attack in New York and the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania and the so-called plane that crashed into the Pentagon. It’s odd there’s never any evidence shown for a plane in the Pentagon, but anyways, I won’t — I’m not going to dive into the 9/11 conspiracy.”
American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m., killing all 64 people on board and 125 inside the building. There is visual evidence of the plane hitting the Pentagon, as well as the aftermath.
In the same video, Greene promoted another baseless conspiracy theory that the Obama administration hired MS-13 gang members to assassinate Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer who was killed in Washington in 2016.
“What else did he do? OK, we got the Iran deal. We got the launch of ISIS and we have the open borders. Oh, open borders. MS-13, everyone. Under Obama came MS-13. There’s a lot to that,” she said.
“You have to understand, there’s — they have very good — they had very good relationships with MS-13,” she continued. “MS-13 was basically like, they were the kind of the henchmen of the Obama administration. They did a lot of the dirty work. Seth Rich, Seth Rich was murdered by two MS-13 gang members. That’s what I mean by dirty work, OK?”
While his murder remains unsolved, Rich was killed in what authorities believe was a botched robbery attempt. There is no evidence to support conspiracy theories alleging foul play — including claims that the Clintons had him killed. Rich’s family has settled a lawsuit against Fox News, which ran with the false story.
Greene has promoted other bogus theories that accuse high-profile Democrats of being complicit in murder. In a September 2017 article on American Truth Seekers, Greene aired the decades-old conspiracy theory that Bill and Hillary Clinton have killed many of their political enemies. Fact-checkers have been debunking this for years.
Some conspiracy theories Greene has supported are further out there — literally.
In a now-deleted November 2018 Facebook post that Media Matters referenced, she wrote that a laser beam from space may have started the Camp wildfire in California. The bogus claim was popular among supporters of QAnon.
“Space solar generators collect the suns energy and then beam it back to Earth to a transmitter to convert to electricity. The idea is clean energy to replace coal and oil, I’m sure they wouldn’t ever miss a transmitter receiving station right??!!” she wrote. “What would that look like anyway? A laser beam or light beam coming down to Earth I guess.”
This article was originally published by PolitiFact, which is owned by the Poynter Institute. It is republished here with permission. See the sources for these facts checks here and more of their fact-checks here.