Guam's Congressional delegate Michael San Nicholas made good on his promise to deliver cookies to Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
, after the freshman Congresswoman mistakenly referred to the US territory as a foreign nation receiving US aid.
San Nichols was escorted to Taylor Greene's office in the US Capitol building on Monday by members of the Guam National Guard, carrying in hand a basket of cookies and books. However, as shown in a video uploaded to social media by The Hill, the congresswoman was not there to meet them. Instead, they were met by an aide, who thanked the guests "for keeping us safe."
During the Conservative Political Action Conference
(CPAC) in late February, Taylor Greene gave a speech against giving aid to foreign countries, including "China, Russia, the Middle East [and] Guam."
This had provoked backlash from both sides of the political spectrum, as Guam has been a US territory for 122 years since it was won during the Spanish-American War.
Like other US territories such as Puerto Rico, people born on the island are US citizens, and though they do not get to vote in US presidential elections nor do they have senators or congressional representatives with voting power, they do have a delegate who goes to the US Congress.
Guam's position in the Pacific Ocean close to the International Date Line has seen it often referred to as "Where America's Day Begins." Its strategically important location has seen it be a valuable asset for the US military, which maintains a notable presence on the island.
In response to the congresswoman's seeming lack of understanding regarding Guam, San Nichols told the Guam Daily Post that he offered Taylor Green Chamorro Chip Cookies "as part of our ongoing outreach to new members to introduce them to our wonderful island of Guam," which is similar to the "cookie diplomacy" he had referred to during last year's annual address to Congress.
Krystal Paco-San Agustin, the communications director in the Guam Governor's Office, told the Guam Daily Post that they would send the congresswoman a copy of the history book Destiny's Landfall: A History of Guam.
While Taylor Greene was not there for the visit, she did speak out against it, criticizing the use of National Guard troops for what she called a publicity stunt.
“It’s time for our great men and women of the National Guard to go home and be with their families,” she wrote on Twitter.
“The Democrats need to stop using them as political theatre and drama on Capitol Hill. Shame on Democrats for disrespecting our military.”
In a statement viewed by the Military Times, Guam National Guard adjunct-general Maj.-Gen. Esther J.C. Aguigui insisted that they were a "non-partisan entity," but also thanked Taylor Greene "for ultimately helping raise awareness of Guamanians as citizens of the United States, and our rich tradition of service and sacrifice to our nation."
If the use of National Guard troops were, in fact, political, it would be in violation of long-standing US Defense Department policy, which states that service members in their official capacity “may not engage in activities that associate the DOD with any partisan political campaign or elections.”
And according to the Military Times, this was not the only visit the Guam National Guard made to a US congressman. A separate video showed them meeting with South Carolina's Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn, and explicitly stated they were on assignment.
This also included photo-ops and a delivery of food and books, and was meant to thank Clyburn for helping the territory get more coronavirus relief funding.