Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene defends herself in floor speech: 'None of us are perfect'
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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said she regretted her past statements on QAnon conspiracy theories and they do not represent her beliefs today, in a floor speech before the House was to take a vote to strip her from committee assignments.
"These were words of the past, and these things do not represent me," Greene said in her first House floor speech of contrition Thursday. "They do not represent my district, and they do not represent my values."
Greene, a freshman rep from Northwest Georgia, sought to introduce herself to the House as a "very regular American" who didn't trust the government and media and went down a wrong path with QAnon conspiracies that she now regrets.
"I was allowed to believe things that weren't true and I would ask questions ... and talk about them. And that is absolutely what I regret. If it weren't for the Facebook posts and comments that I liked in 2018, I wouldn't be standing here today," Greene said. "And you couldn't point a finger, and accuse me of anything wrong. Because I've lived a very good life that I'm proud and my family's proud of."
Greene said she's since "walked away" from QAnon and when she ran for congress in 2020 she never campaigned on any of the conspiracies that she posted about in 2018.
Democrats, however, were incensed by Greene's speech which lacked any apology for her posts where she endorsed violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and espoused anti-semitic and anti-Muslim views.
"I didn't hear an apology for the incredibly dangerous or hurtful remarks," said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., the chairman of the House Rules Committee.
Greene has been in hot water for past statements and social media postings endorsing violence against prominent Democrats and touting conspiracy theories that mass school shootings were staged and expressed doubt on whether a plane really crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.
Greene walked back some of those conspiracies Thursday, which were widely panned by Democrats and Republicans alike.
"School shootings are absolutely real," Greene said. "... I also want to tell you 9/11 absolutely happened."
But Greene also took aim at Big Tech censorship and Democrats who stood by when rioters burned cities and attacked police officers but now want to "crucify me in the public square for words that I said and I regret a few years ago."
Greene spoke of her strong Christian faith and forgiveness.
"I think it's important for all of us to remember, none of us are perfect," Greene said.
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 12: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) yells at journalists after setting off the metal detector outside the doors to the House of Representatives Chamber on January 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. Today the House of Representatives plans to vote on Rep. Jamie Raskin's (D-MD) resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, removing President Trump from office. On Wednesday, House Democrats plan on voting on articles of impeachment. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The GOP firebrand ran as a pro-President Trump conservative who would take on socialism and stop the progressive "Squad."
She ended her 10-minute floor speech with a line that especially rankled Democrats when she compared the mainstream media to QAnon in spreading disinformation.
"The media is just as guilty as QAnon," Greene said.
Greene's comments come as the House is set to vote Thursday on removing her from her two committee assignments: The Committee on Education and Labor and the House Budget Committee. Democrats say they are forced to act since Republicans have refused to penalize Greene for her past statements.
Greene previously addressed the controversies during a closed-door GOP caucus meeting Wednesday night. Republican colleagues said she expressed contrition, conveyed professionalism and walked back some of her social media postings that have caused a stir. They urged her to do the same in public, which she did Thursday.
About half the Republicans in the room rose and gave her a standing ovation following her Wednesday speech, three Republicans told Fox News. However, others weren't convinced she took full responsibility for her statements that have caused a headache for plenty of swing-district Republicans who don't want to be tied to any of Greene's conspiracy theories. "She's just bats**t crazy," one Republican told Fox News.
McGovern said he can't believe Republicans would stand up for her.
"Who applauded the person who advocated putting a bullet in the head of the Speaker of the House? " McGovern said.
"I hope we are setting a clear standard for what we will not tolerate," McGovern added. "Anyone who suggests putting a bullet in the head of a member shouldn't serve on any committee, period."
Republicans didn't defend Greene's past comments but took issue with Democrats wielding influence on GOP party matters and setting a new precedent for penalizing members for statements they made prior to entering Congress.
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Wednesday he "condemn[s] those comments unequivocally" from Greene and seemed convinced that she had moved on and learned lessons.
"Anything with QAnon has no place in our party and Marjorie Greene actually said that inside our conference today," McCarthy said Wednesday night.