The White House has opted, at least for now, not to engage in discussing or formally condemning QAnon supporter Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who has advanced dangerous conspiracy theories and endorsed the execution of Democratic lawmakers.
“We don’t want to elevate conspiracy theories further in the briefing room so I’m going to leave it at that,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday when asked about the GOP freshman.
Greene has drawn ire from House Democrats for being appointed to the House Education and Labor Committee after calling the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School a “false-flag” operation.
Greene has faced no consequences within the GOP conference for her extreme rhetoric.
Stopping short of further comment, Psaki deferred on Friday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who condemned the move to elevate Greene to a committee during a Wednesday briefing.
But Friday was not the first time that Psaki has opted not to discuss the congresswoman who appears to represent the increasing threat of extremism among Trump loyalists in Congress.
She also opted to hold the line in not engaging further as the topic of the conspiracy theorist lawmaker bubbled up during a briefing on Wednesday, when a reporter asked if the White House had comments about reports of Greene’s unsavory actions on social media.
“We don’t,” Psaki said. “And I’m not going to speak further about her, I think, in this briefing room.”
The comments reflect a perhaps reasonably heightened sensitivity to the consequences of fanning the flame of incendiary rhetoric in the wake of the deadly Capitol riot earlier this month.
A minority of Republicans have spoken out against extremism and a dangerous flirtation with fiction as fact among members of their party, even as reporting shows that GOP House leadership was well aware of Greene’s potential threat months before she was elected and opted to do little to thwart her bid.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) had suggested during an MSNBC interview on Thursday that he didn’t think Greene should “have the privilege of any committees” over reports of her track record of amplifying a “dark underworld” of dangerous conspiracy theories.
It’s unclear, however, whether the White House’s will eventually have to weigh in on the GOP’s latest author of an alternate reality as Greene and others who were Trump loyalists create a mess for the Republican Party that could impact Congress’ ability to legislate.
“We’re not going to allow the briefing room to be a platform for propaganda, and we will shut that down as needed as well,” Psaki foreshadowed at the time.