Mitch McConnell Calls "Loony Lies" Promoted By Marjorie Taylor Greene A "Cancer" To The GOP
The Senate Minority leader and first-term lawmaker traded barbs as the GOP has descended into chaos and division.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) seemed to call out Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) “loony lies” as a “cancer” to the Republican Party. Without naming her directly, the Senate minority leader said in a statement on Monday reported by The Hill that someone who supports the conspiracy theories Greene has promoted is “not living in reality” and is not using their time in Congress to focus on helping American families.
“Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality,” McConnell reportedly said in the statement. “This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”
Greene responded Monday night by tweeting, “The real cancer for the Republican Party is weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully.”
Social media posts have recently surfaced showcasing the wide range of conspiracy theories that Greene has supported.
She has liked or favorited posts that call for the murder of various Democratic politicians. She has suggested that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were a government conspiracy and that the California wildfires were started by a laser beam from space operated by Jewish bankers. A recently surfaced video shows her harassing Parkland survivor and gun reform activist David Hogg just weeks after the mass shooting, calling him a “coward” and claiming he was being funded by billionaire George Soros.
House Democrats have said they are ready to move forward with removing Greene from any committees in the House of Representatives if House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) does not take action and strip the representative of her assignments. In 2019, the GOP stripped then- Rep. Steve King (R-IA) of assignments after he inquired how language like white supremacy “became offensive” during an interview with The New York Times.
“Republican members will have the chance to distance themselves from her,” columnist Michelle Goldberg wrote in The Times. “If they don’t, it will be because they know she belongs.”
Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) has 61 co-sponsors on a resolution to expel Greene from Congress, which he hopes to introduce this week, according to his spokesperson. A two-thirds majority vote is required for such an expulsion, which is why it rarely happens — but it has happened before. Roll Call reports that 20 members of Congress have been expelled in the past, with the most recent example being the late former Rep. James Traficant Jr. (D-OH), expelled in 2002 after he was convicted on 10 felony counts including bribery, racketeering, and fraud.
McConnell is one of a small handful of GOP lawmakers who have spoken out against the QAnon-promoting Greene, though pressure has been mounting for other Republicans to respond. The Senate minority leader had earlier signaled potential support for and then ambiguity regarding voting to impeach former President Donald Trump, whose Senate trial begins next week. McConnell, one of Trump’s most powerful allies through his entire presidency, blamed the ex-president for provoking the deadly mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6. But then he was one of 45 Republicans who voted last week in support of dismissing the trial.
Separately, McConnell gave a statement to CNN defending Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January. Trump loyalists in the GOP have been calling for Cheney, who voted with the ex-president nearly 93% of the time, to be stripped of her third-ranking position in the party. Last week, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) traveled to Wyoming to call for voters to force her out of office in 2022.
"Liz Cheney is a leader with deep convictions and the courage to act on them," McConnell said in the statement to CNN. "She is an important leader in our party and in our nation. I am grateful for her service and look forward to continuing to work with her on the crucial issues facing our nation."