Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene expressed regret on Thursday for some of her incendiary remarks but failed to apologize for supporting violence against Democrats, as she faced punishment in the US House of Representatives.The US House of Representatives voted on Thursday to strip Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of two high-profile committee assignments.Greene has also recently come under fire for allegedly antisemitic behavior online. Last week, a post was unearthed from her social media history in which she implied that "Rothschild Inc" ignited a deadly forest fire using laser beams from space, offering baseless speculation into the incident. The accusation was made in a 2018 Facebook post that is no longer visible.
Suggesting that the Rothschild family is conspiring to cause damage for profit is a longstanding anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, and one that permeates the QAnon mythology.Additionally, Greene liked a tweet in 2018 that implicated Israel’s spy agency in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.The like, uncovered Wednesday by someone on Twitter who identifies as a Michigan Democrat, is the latest conspiracy theory featuring antisemitic themes apparently endorsed by the Georgia Republican.The tweet from November 2018 was from someone named Jason Womack, who said “Mossad was on the ground in Dallas on 11/22/1963!” — the date and place of Kennedy’s assassination. Womack was replying to a tweet that Greene has since deleted, and a copy is not available.
The House is due to vote later in the day on a Democratic-backed resolution that would punish Greene, a first-term lawmaker from Georgia and ally of former President Donald Trump, a day after the chamber's Republican leader Kevin McCarthy opted not to reprimand her.
Greene delivered a speech on the House floor ahead of the vote on whether to oust her from two high-profile congressional committees, disavowing some of her previous statements.
"These were words of the past and these things do not represent me, they do not represent my (congressional) district and they do not represent my values," Greene said.
"I was allowed to believe things that weren't true, and I would ask questions about them and talk about them. And that is absolutely what I regret," Greene added.
Before taking office last month, Greene voiced support for an array of unfounded conspiracy theories including the "QAnon" one that holds that elite Democrats are part of a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles and cannibals. According to CNN, Greene expressed support online for executing prominent Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Greene, who said she was inspired to enter politics by Trump's leadership, embraced his false claim that he won the Nov. 3 election, alleged that deadly US school shootings were staged, suggested a space laser was used to deliberately start a California wildfire and questioned whether a plane struck the Pentagon in the 2001 attacks on the United States.
She has been assigned to serve on the House Budget Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee.
Republicans opposed Thursday's vote, saying it could set a dangerous precedent for punishing lawmakers over comments made before taking office.
Democrats said the action was necessary because of failed Republican leadership.
"The party of Lincoln is becoming the party of violent conspiracy theories, and apparently the leaders of the Republican Party in the House today are not going to do a damn thing about it," Democratic Representative Jim McGovern said.
In her speech, Greene disavowed belief in the QAnon conspiracy theory, acknowledged that school shootings really happened and that the Sept. 11 attacks did occur.
But Greene also said the House was preparing to "crucify me in the public square for words that I said and I regret a few years ago" after tolerating other lawmakers she accused of condoning violent urban riots and attacks on police last year. Greene painted the current controversy in religious terms, citing her Christian beliefs and saying "I am a sinner."
Greene also assailed the media, asking, "Will we allow the media that is just as guilty as QAnon of presenting truth and lies to divide us?"
The House Republican caucus on Wednesday allowed Greene to go unpunished but also turned back a bid by lawmakers on the right to oust establishment Republican Liz Cheney from the party's House leadership over her Jan. 13 vote to impeach Trump on a charge of inciting insurrection before a mob of his supporters attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The political atmosphere in Congress has been acrimonious since that rampage in which some Trump supporters threatened to kill Democratic lawmakers including Pelosi, as well as Republican former Vice President Mike Pence.
Democratic Representative Jimmy Gomez said he expects to bring a measure to the House floor calling for Greene's expulsion from Congress.
"She never really apologized and I still think she should be removed from the House of Representatives," Gomez told reporters.
In 2019, Republican congressman Steve King was stripped of his House committee assignments after he questioned during a media interview why white supremacy is considered offensive. He is no longer in Congress.Earlier this year shortly before riots broke at the Capitol, Illinois Republican Rep. Mary Miller gave a speech in which she talked about the importance of Republicans reaching young people and said, “Hitler was right on one thing: He said, whoever has the youth has the future.”
After the statement drew condemnation from the Anti-Defamation League, Miller issued an apology that said she was an ally of the Jewish community as well as pro-Israel, though the speech did not appear to be about Israel. Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks thanked her for the statement.Ben Sales and Ron Kampeas/JTA contributed to this report.