Greene Speech To Fluff Up Rightwing Bona Fides Quickly Devolves Into Media Slugfest

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 5: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaks during a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol on February 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House voted 230 to 199 on Friday evening to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from committee assignments over her remarks about QAnon and other conspiracy theories. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 5: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaks during a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol on February 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House voted 230 to 199 on Friday evening to remove ... WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 5: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaks during a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol on February 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House voted 230 to 199 on Friday evening to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from committee assignments over her remarks about QAnon and other conspiracy theories. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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February 5, 2021 12:38 p.m.

When Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) took the stage Friday morning, she opened with a calmer tone than followers of her political career are used to hearing. 

It was “American carnage”-lite: she painted a country strewn with murderous “illegal aliens,” dead babies in wombs, ships full of American tax dollars being sent overseas. But she also reminded the crowd multiple times that she is a mother, told a story of a student bringing guns to her school when she felt the “fear” familiar to David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland massacre that she once harassed. It seemed an attempt to humanize herself, as she beseeched the press to “tell my story a little bit better,” not just her conspiracy theories. 

But things quickly devolved. It felt like speeches given by President Donald Trump, when he would hew to a teleprompter for the first portion of his speech before ad-libbing what he really wanted to talk about. 

“I was in the chamber unlike AOC,” Greene shot, describing the insurrection. She then claimed that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) “faked her outrage with another hoax.” 

Greene, who peddled conspiracy theories about evil, pedophilic Democratic politicians and staged school shootings, who posted a picture of herself carrying a machine gun beside scared-looking Reps. Cortez, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (R-MI), scolded the assembled reporters for “addicting the nation to hate.”

The speech was ostensibly meant to buff up her image the morning after every House Democrat and 11 House Republicans voted to strip her of her committee assignments, just 32 days after she was sworn in. While she has a rich history of offensive comments, a set of recently unearthed social media posts in which she mused about the potential execution of Democratic lawmakers was the tipping point.

On Friday, she said that she was glad to be kicked off of her committees, given the “tyrannically controlled government,” since she’d be wasting her time there anyway. She said that she’d be spending her time instead building a mass of support that she “already got started” — she has claimed to have raised well over $1 million in fundraising off of her scandals so far. 

She ended the press conference in a way strikingly familiar to those who watched Trump’s press conferences over the past four years: a verbal fistfight with the reporters asking her questions. When the first reporter asked if she would apologize, Greene immediately asked what outlet they were with. Upon finding out it was CNN, she launched into a counter-interrogation, demanding that the reporter apologize for “lying about President Trump” with the “Russian conspiracy.”

She refused to apologize for harassing Hogg and tut-tutted at reporters’ insistence on getting her apologies on the record, comparing it to Trump being repeatedly asked if he denounced white supremacy. 

She decided she’d had enough when a reporter started to ask about the Facebook post Greene liked saying that “a bullet to the head would be quicker” to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from office. 

“That’s your problem. And that’s how we end press conferences,” she said, whipping her speech off the lectern with a flourish.

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