House Republican leaders were well aware of the risks posed by QAnon supporter Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) last summer, but ultimately opted to do little to stop her, according to an Axios report detailing previously unreported at length discussions about her potential threat before she was elected.
The report comes as the newly-elected congresswoman faces backlash over reports of incendiary rhetoric over school shootings, including referring to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting as a “false-flag” operation and heckling survivors of the shooting in a video that went viral this week. Greene had also endorsed comments that some Democratic lawmakers should be executed, according to a CNN report earlier this week.
Axios sources described a series of conversations in which former Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) all expressed concerns about Greene. But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and others ultimately did little to stop her.
Since her arrival on Capitol Hill, McCarthy has continued to do little to reel in the GOP freshman who was lavishly praised by former President Trump when she won her GOP primary in August. According to Axios, Greene’s former primary runoff opponent, John Cowan, detailed separate conversations he had with McCarthy and Scalise, in which both men acknowledged Greene was a serious problem for the party.
During a July phone conversation, Cowan said that he had warned McCarthy about intensely damaging opposition research his campaign had dug up on Greene, and told McCarthy outright that Greene was “bad for the party.”
But even as McCarthy condemned racist and Islamophobic comments that surfaced about Greene over the summer, he stopped short of endorsing her opposition.
An effort by Scalise to endorse and fundraise for Cowan’s campaign fell short of the support Greene had won, presumably in light of Trump’s shining review of her.
“Everybody was well aware of her previous persona and who she is. I would say they all knew she was going to be a problem,” Cowan told Axios.