Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene announced Saturday she had spoken with former U.S. President Donald Trump amid calls for her expulsion from Congress, saying she’ll “never apologize” as she faces backlash over controversial actions and recently resurfaced comments.
In a series of tweets, the Georgia Republican said she was “so grateful for (Trump’s) support and more importantly the people of this country are absolutely 100% loyal to him because he is 100% loyal to the people and America First.”
CNN has reached out to the former president for comment.
Greene’s apparent conversation with Trump comes at a tumultuous time for the Republican Party, as GOP leaders navigate party infighting over the former President’s role in inciting the deadly US Capitol riot that led to his second impeachment and how his legacy fits with the party’s future.
CNN’s KFile reported earlier this week that Greene — a staunch supporter of Trump and the policies he pushed while in office — had repeatedly indicated support for executing prominent Democratic politicians in 2018 and 2019 before being elected to Congress. The congresswoman has a track record of incendiary rhetoric, including past comments using Islamophobic and anti-Semitic tropes, as well as ties to the baseless and thoroughly debunked QAnon conspiracy theory.
Greene, in one of her tweets Saturday, declared: “I won’t back down. I’ll never apologize. And I’ll always keep fighting for the people.”
She also referenced comments from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a news conference this week in which the Democratic leader said that “the enemy is within the House of Representatives,” referring to the rhetoric and behavior of some Republican members of Congress, including Greene.
“Yes there is an enemy within,” Greene wrote. “And that enemy is a poisonous rot of socialist policies and America last sell outs who are pompous hypocrites that believe they are untouchable elites.”
The congresswoman said she denounced the January 6 violent attack on the Capitol and accused Democrats of trying to “lie and blame” Republicans for the violence.
Greene had helped promote Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election had been riddled with fraud and stolen from him, and on January 6, she joined some of her Republicans colleagues in objecting to counting electoral votes.
House GOP leadership meeting canceled amid party turmoil
On Saturday, CNN learned that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had canceled a Tuesday House GOP leadership meeting in advance of a meeting scheduled for Wednesday with all House Republicans amid the dust up over Greene’s controversial comments and views, McCarthy’s renewed loyalty to Trump, and questions about GOP conference chair Liz Cheney and the nine other members of the Republican caucus who voted to impeach the former president.
McCarthy’s spokesperson told CNN the leadership meeting, slated for Tuesday afternoon, was canceled because the Republican leader will be traveling back from an energy event in Houston. However, he offered no additional details for why it wasn’t rescheduled.
A source familiar told CNN they believed one of the reasons McCarthy canceled the meeting is because he doesn’t want to discuss Greene.
CNN previously reported that McCarthy plans to speak with the congresswoman next week about her past comments and posts.
The cancellation of the leadership meeting comes at a critical time for House Republicans.
This week, in the aftermath of the divisive fight to impeach Trump, McCarthy privately told his GOP colleagues to “cut that crap out” and stop attacking one another publicly — and instead focus on Democrats.
McCarthy has previously said he supports Cheney, the number three Republican in leadership, but has also said he has “concerns.” McCarthy has not publicly addressed Greene or Cheney since his visit with Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Florida where the two discussed strategy for winning the House majority in next year’s midterms, according to Trump’s “Save America” Political Action Committee.
While many House Republicans have remained silent on Greene’s recent inflammatory comments and spreading of conspiracy theories, she hasn’t escaped criticism from all members of her party.
GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, a frequent Trump critic, reacted to Greene’s announcement of her call with the former President in a tweet of his own, saying that “lies of a feather flock together: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s nonsense and the ‘big lie’ of a stolen election.” Greene swiftly responded to the Utah Republican by accusing him of not caring about people’s concerns.
Democrats demand Greene’s removal
Adding to the growing tensions between the two parties in the aftermath of the deadly riot on Capitol Hill, fellow freshman Rep. Cori Bush, a Missouri Democrat, announced Friday she will be moving her office away from Greene’s after a heated exchange with the GOP congresswoman earlier this month over mask wearing.
And at least 50 House Democrats have called for Greene to be removed from Congress, with others demanding she be censured or face punishment after a number of her inflammatory comments came to light.
Democratic Rep. Nikema Williams, another member of Georgia’s congressional delegation, told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield on Saturday that it’s time for Greene to be removed from Congress.
“We saw a direct attack on the United States Capitol because of the rhetoric and incitement of violence she continues to do,” said Williams, who’s a co-sponsor of a bill to censure Greene.
Still, expelling a member from Congress requires two-thirds of the chamber to vote to remove that person. Republicans control just under half the seats in the House, and GOP leadership has so far shown no steps toward reprimanding Greene for her comments or previous posts.