Reports suggest Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia envisions running for vice president with former President Donald Trump in 2024 after landing assignments on three high-profile House committees that are expected to command the attention of the right-wing media over the next two years.
Greene announced on Wednesday that she is assigned to sit on the House Committee on Homeland Security, as well as a special committee investigating COVID-19 and the government’s response to the pandemic. She will also sit on the powerful House Overnight and Accountability Committee, which is spearheading investigations into President Joe Biden and his family based on supposed scandals that have delighted right-wing audiences since the last presidential election. Greene is known for casting Biden as Nazi leader Adolf Hitler online.
Critics say the decision by House Republicans to place Greene on top committees is a victory for “proxy” conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has invited Greene on his show and, like Greene, embraced Trump’s false claims of a stolen election in 2020.
“Joe Biden, be prepared,” Greene said in a statement. “We are going to uncover every corrupt business dealing, every foreign entanglement, every abuse of power, and every check cut for The Big Guy.”
Greene is known for spreading far right misinformation, fraternizing with white nationalists and engaging in made-for-TV public outbursts, and both analysts and moderate Republicans warn that legitimizing a conspiracy theorist such as Greene with plumb committee assignments is a risky political move for the GOP.
However, Greene stood with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as a hard right contingent of lawmakers blocked the Republican leader from ascending to the speakership during a marathon series of failed votes earlier this month. McCarthy eventually won the speakership after making broad concessions to Greene and other lawmakers on his right flank, and the speaker reportedly swore his allegiance to Greene this week, promising to “always take care of her,” according to reports.
During the embarrassing speakership spectacle, Greene weathered criticism from her online fans to position herself as a bridge between the GOP establishment and the far right MAGA crowd. Greene now reportedly sees herself as a rising star of the Republican Party with the potential to become Trump’s 2024 running mate, according to insider reports.
“She sees herself on the short list for Trump’s VP … when MTG looks in the mirror, she sees a potential president smiling back,” said Steve Bannon, the former Trump aide and host of a popular far right podcast, in a recent interview with NBC News.
A second source close to Greene told NBC News that the lawmaker’s “whole vision” is to become vice president under Trump. Indeed, Greene’s habit of embracing conspiracy theories and misinformation from the fringes of the internet has earned her a devoted following on the right — and plenty of media attention when she pulls a political stunt or makes unfounded statements that upset liberals.
In 2021, the Democrat-controlled House stripped Greene of her committee assignments after past statements promoting political violence and antisemitic conspiracies surfaced online. Greene has since cast herself as a MAGA martyr and made the rounds on far right media and at extremist events, and her campaign raised more than $12 million from 2021 to 2022, a major haul for a freshman that made Greene one of the top GOP fundraisers in the House.
“From her role shepherding Kevin McCarthy through his chaotic fight for speaker to her new seats on some of the most powerful committees in the House, it is clear Marjorie Taylor Greene has been crowned the de facto leader of the MAGA conference,” said Zac Petkanas, senior adviser to the left-leaning House Accountability War Room, in an email.
Greene has endeared herself to Trump and the MAGA crowd, but the rest of the nation is skeptical at best, with liberals viewing Greene as evidence that Trump has pulled the GOP off the deep end. A poll in late 2021 found that 10 percent of respondents think Greene is trustworthy, and a poll earlier this month found that only 27 percent of likely voters say Greene should be allowed on House committees. One-third opposed Greene sitting on any committee, and another 41 percent were not sure, a sign that voters who pay less attention to partisan politics are not familiar with Greene — yet.
Greene has promoted misinformation about issues under the purview of all three committees she now sits on, including dangerous conspiracy theories about the safety of COVID vaccines, and the deeply racist “great replacement” theory that was mainstreamed by conservative pundits and MAGA lawmakers even as the theory inspired mass murderers.
“[Greene] has demonstrated throughout her time in Congress that she would rather fan the flames of violent and irrational conspiracy theories on social media…which means the important business of her committees will be neglected time and time again in favor of politically motivated stunts,” Petkanas said.
It remains to be seen whether Greene will use her spot on the COVID and homeland security committees to continue spreading misinformation, but Republicans say the real “excitement” will come from the House oversight committee, where Republicans are expected to probe Hunter Biden’s laptop, senior immigration officials, and other obsessions of conservative media.
President Biden’s son Hunter is embroiled in suspicion of foreign influence peddling while struggling with drug addiction, a saga that burst into the headlines when the younger Biden’s laptop surfaced in the hands of the Trump campaign ahead of the 2020 election. Republicans suspect Hunter’s alleged corruption leads to the president himself, but Democrats and some critics see the investigation as a sort of rejoinder to Trump’s second impeachment. Joining Greene on the oversight committee are Rep. Paul Gosar and Rep. Lauren Boebert, two MAGA firebrands known to compete with Greene for the spotlight.
White House spokesperson Ian Sams said the Biden administration will work with the House oversight committee “in good faith” to accommodate legitimate oversight needs, but the inclusion of Greene and other extremists on the committee signals that Republicans are setting the stage for “divorced-from-reality political stunts.” In a statement, Sams said Republicans must explain why Greene and other far right members are allowed to sit on the oversight committee after suggesting “violence against political opponents” and defending the rioters who attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Meanwhile, Greene is only getting warmed up. In a statement announcing her committee assignments this week, she offered a preview of the fringe beliefs and conspiracy theories that she says the committees will focus on under the Republican majority. These topics also happen to be favorites among right-wing media outlets.
“It’s time to reveal the truth on the origins of COVID, the authoritarian Democrat response, vaccines, and Fauci’s NIAID involvement in gain-of-function research,” Greene said in a reference to conspiracies theories surrounding Anthony Fauci and the “lab leak” hypothesis of COVID’s origins.
Greene and others on the far right have railed against Fauci since 2020 and wrapped related conspiracy theories into campaigns against mask mandates and vaccines.
Greene also falsely claimed that “millions” of “illegal aliens, criminals and potential terrorists” are invading the southern U.S. border, an apparent reference to the xenophobic “great replacement.” In reality, chaotic U.S. immigration policies have created a humanitarian crisis at the border, and tens of thousands of peaceful migrants and asylum seekers are apprehended by border authorities before entering the country each month.
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