McCarthy meets with Rep. Greene over conspiracy theories as Democrats push for committee removal

Georgia

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) sits in the House Chamber as the House comes back into session to continue the process of certifying the 2020 Electoral College results after Pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Congress has reconvened to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump, hours after a pro-Trump mob broke into the U.S. Capitol and disrupted proceedings. (Photo by Erin Schaff – Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy met late Tuesday with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene as Republicans discussed how to handle a bipartisan outcry over her embrace of conspiracy theories, including suggestions that mass shootings at the nation’s schools were staged.

Aides to McCarthy and Greene offered no immediate comment after the two spent around 90 minutes together in his Capitol office. Their session came as the GOP faced unrest from opposing ends of the Republican spectrum over Greene and Rep. Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Without action by Republicans, Democrats were threatening to force a House vote Wednesday on removing Greene, R-Ga., from her assigned committees. She had been named to the education committee, a decision that drew harsh criticism because of her suggestions that school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and Parkland, Florida, could be hoaxes.

A spokesperson for House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said last week that he was disturbed by Greene’s comments and planned to have a conversation with her about them.

The House GOP Steering Committee, a leadership-dominated body that makes committee assignments for the party, also met late Tuesday.

On social media, Greene has also expressed racist views and supported calls for violence against Democratic politicians, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. McCarthy, R-Calif., has stopped short of criticizing the first-term congresswoman, who was dubbed a “future Republican Star” by Trump last summer and has remained a firm Trump supporter.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and others have boosted pressure this week on the House GOP to act.

In a statement that didn’t use Greene’s name, he called her “loony lies” a “cancer” on the GOP.

In addition, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who’s been trying to combat the GOP’s pro-Trump wing, said he favored removing Greene from her committees, saying Republicans must “take a stand to disavow” her.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, a Trump critic and the GOP 2012 presidential nominee, said Tuesday that Republicans must “separate ourselves from the people that are the wacky weeds.”

On the GOP’s furthest right wing, lawmakers were pushing to oust Cheney, a traditional conservative and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, from her post as the No. 3 House Republican after she voted to impeach Trump last month. McConnell praised Cheney, R-Wyo., as “a leader with deep convictions and courage,” but House GOP lawmakers planned to meet privately Wednesday to decide her political fate.

John Fredericks, who led Trump’s Virginia campaigns in 2016 and 2020, warned that there would be party primaries against Cheney defenders.

“We’ve got millions and millions of woke, motivated, America-first Trump voters that believe in the movement,” Fredericks said. “If you’re going to keep Liz Cheney in leadership, there’s no party.”

Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., a leader of the effort to oust Cheney, says he has enough support to succeed.

“She’s brought this on herself,” Rosendale said. He said Cheney, who was joined by only nine other Republicans in backing impeachment, was wrong to not forewarn colleagues about her decision.

Republicans have said that GOP members would unite against a Democratic move to remove Greene from her committee assignments and that such an effort would help Greene cast herself as a victim of partisan Democrats.

As if to illustrate that point, Greene herself tweeted fundraising appeals Tuesday that said, “With your support, the Democrat mob can’t cancel me,” beneath a picture of herself standing with Trump. She tweeted later Tuesday she’d surpassed her fundraising goal and was raising it to $150,000.

“They are coming after me because like President Trump, I will always defend conservative values,” she said in a statement last week.

McCarthy has said he supports Cheney but also has “concerns,” leaving his stance on her unclear.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report

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