U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz set the record straight on Wednesday when he debunked Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) recent claims that agents found an “explosive” near the southern border in January.
The bizarre allegation first surfaced during a Homeland Security Committee hearing Wednesday that House Republicans performatively planned to take place near the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. All of the Democrats on the panel opted to boycott the hearing, arguing that Republicans were using the field hearing to “score political points.”
“Unfortunately, it has become clear that Republicans planned to politicize this event from the start, breaking with the committee’s proud history of bipartisanship,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) told the Washington Examiner this week. “Instead of a fact-finding mission to develop better border security and immigration policies, Republicans are traveling to the border to attack the administration and try to score political points with their extreme rhetoric – despite having voted against the resources border personnel need.”
During the hearing the MAGA-aligned conspiracy theorist congresswoman alleged an “explosive device” was found at the border earlier this year as she asked a question about the threat that the cartel presents to border patrol agents and Americans. Ortiz responded by saying that most information around that matter is “confidential.”
Later that day, Greene doubled down on Twitter, posting a picture of the alleged explosive device she claimed agents found at the border and argued “the Cartel” was “planting bombs” and “murdering Americans everyday through drugs and crime.”
Ortiz corrected the record in a post of his own.
“Today, I testified before the Committee on Homeland Security & it was alleged that Agents found an explosive device near the border,” Ortiz wrote, sharing the same image Greene posted in her tweet. “During a Jan. briefing, leadership was notified that Agents found a duct-taped ball filled with sand that wasn’t deemed a threat to agents/public.”
But despite Ortiz setting the record straight, Greene refused to walk back her false claim, insisting that unnamed Border Patrol agents had told her otherwise.
“Unfortunately, several Border Patrol agents are saying it was some sort of IED and there is video surveillance and pictures of a man placing the device,” she wrote in a tweet responding to Ortiz’s correction. “I’m just explaining what I was told today.”
This is not the first time Greene has publicly seized on false or misleading information to push her own political agenda. The infamously far-right member of Congress, who was coined the QAnon congresswoman when she was first elected, was stripped of her committee assignments by all Democrats and 11 Republicans in 2021 for a laundry list of conspiracy theories she promoted before taking office — including suggesting that 9/11 was a hoax.
Greene’s spokesperson did not clarify Greene’s sources or provide evidence for her claims on Wednesday, according to HuffPost.
“Stop being a state-sponsored propagandist,” the spokesperson told Huffpost.