Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said Saturday she had spoken with former President Donald Trump, claiming he offered his support at a time when Republican leaders are under increased pressure to punish the freshman lawmaker for the way she has behaved toward colleagues, her embrace of conspiracy theories, and past statements in which she spouted extremist and racist rhetoric. “I had a GREAT call with my all time favorite POTUS, President Trump! I’m so grateful for his support,” the Georgia lawmaker tweeted Saturday morning. “The blood thirsty media and the socialists hate America Democrats are attacking me now just like they always attack President Trump.” She went on to “promise” that she won’t “back down” and “never apologize.”
A spokesman for Trump didn’t comment on the call and Greene’s office also didn’t provide any further details. But the alleged call comes at a time when Republican Party leaders are under pressure to punish the controversial lawmaker and some Democrats have even demanded her ouster. As more examples surface of her support of dangerous and baseless conspiracy theories and even her apparent endorsement for killing of top Democratic leaders, Republicans have largely stayed silent. The situation is a reflection of the divisions that exist among Republicans as the party tries to decide how it will move forward without Trump in the White House.
Sen. Mitt Romney, who was the only Republican senator to vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial, criticized both the former president and the freshman lawmaker. “Lies of a feather flock together: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s nonsense and the ‘big lie’ of a stolen election,” Romney tweeted.
The alleged support from Trump came a day after Rep. Cori Bush, a freshman Democrat, said she was moving offices to get far away from Greene. Bush said Greene “berated” her in a hallway and said she would move her office “for my team’s safety.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he will talk with Greene next week, but it’s unclear whether that means there will be any actual consequences for the freshman lawmaker. At least 50 House Democrats have called for Greene to be removed from Congress. On Friday, Greene sent a warning to any Republican leaders who were thinking about punishing her. “If Republicans cower to the mob, and let the Democrats and the fake news media take me out,” Ms. Greene said, “they’re opening the door to come after every single Republican until there’s none left.”
p data-uri=”slate.com/_components/slate-paragraph/instances/ckkkc8ocd00183g6fqaqoi8mz@published” data-word-count=”50″ class=”slate-paragraph slate-graf”>McCarthy vowed to speak to Greene after reports surfaced of Facebook posts she wrote in which she discussed executing Democrats before she was elected to Congress. “These comments are deeply disturbing and Leader McCarthy plans to have a conversation with the Congresswoman about them,” McCarthy’s spokesman said earlier this week.
While some Republicans want McCarthy to send a message that makes clear the party won’t support lawmakers who back conspiracy theories, others are worried about what that will do to a big chunk of their supporters who are still loyal to Trump. And even though some are now trying to portray her as a firebrand outsider, the Washington Post details how many key party leaders embraced her in her rise to power despite the fact that her history of spreading lies and her penchant for violent rhetoric.