In spite of expressing some regrets last week over comments she’s made in the past alleging conspiracy theories and promoting violence toward others, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) reverted back to asserting such false notions, peddling the already debunked claim that individuals who attacked the U.S. Capitol building last month were not actual supporters of former President Donald Trump.
Some have wrongly asserted in the past that the breach of the Capitol might have been a “false flag” attack, meant to tarnish Trump’s image as he attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Others have errantly asserted that the non-existent organization called “antifa” had pretended to be Trump loyalists in order to attack the Capitol. None of these claims, nor any others like them purporting that anyone else besides Trump’s own base of supporters attacked Congress, have any shred of validity to them.
Yet on Tuesday morning, Greene made the bold — and false — assumption that there could be no logical way that those who attacked the Capitol were Trump backers, since they interrupted her and other GOP lawmakers’ efforts to challenge the outcome of the presidential election results by breaching the building.
“If the #Jan6 organizers were Trump supporters, then why did they attack us while we were objecting to electoral college votes for Joe Biden? The attack RUINED our objection that we spent weeks preparing for, which devastated our efforts on behalf of Trump and his voters,” Greene said in the first of a series of tweets making the false allegations.
“The Capitol attack was planned and organized, NOT incited in the moment by President Trump, and NO Republican Member was involved,” Greene further claimed.
Greene’s commentary is a drastic rewriting of history, as Trump’s words that day, just prior to the attack on the Capitol, were indeed incendiary. The former president had asserted, without evidence of any kind, that the election was stolen from him “by emboldened radical left Democrats” and “the fake news media.” He also told his supporters they could “never take back our country with weakness,” and directed them to go to the Capitol that day to demonstrate their grievances in person.
A number of Trump loyalists who took part in the violence on January 6 have since cited Trump’s very words as the direct reason why they attacked Congress.
Due to a plethora of controversial statements from Greene in the past, the House of Representatives voted last week to remove the Georgia lawmaker from two committee assignments she had held. In addressing the action on the House floor, Greene, who continued to attack the media for holding her accountable for her past statements, seemed to express at least some amount of remorse for what she had 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 said, acknowledging that tragedies she had belittled or said were fake in the past — including school shootings and the attacks on 9/11 — were “absolutely real.”
Having expressed a belief on Tuesday in yet another conspiracy theory, however, disputing who actually took part in the attacks on the Capitol, it’s apparent that Greene will not change her ways anytime soon, and that her expression of regret last week was short lived, if it was sincere in the first place.
Several Democrats had previously called on Greene to be expelled from Congress altogether, but that action would have required two-thirds of the House to agree to do so, which would have meant some Republicans would have had to join in the efforts to remove her from office. Attempts to hold her accountable now, after promulgating yet another false conspiracy theory, likely won’t come about, due to the current political infighting within the GOP, and the real possibility that the party may soon embrace, rather than reject, the same QAnon philosophies promoted by Greene in the near future.
Indeed, a number of other actions across the U.S. seem to indicate that Republicans are gravitating toward such extremist views rather than trying to push them away. The Oregon Republican Party, for example, passed a resolution backing the former president, and professing, much like Greene has implied, that the January 6 attack on the Capitol was a “false flag” event. The Texas GOP also recently adopted a common QAnon catchphrase as a slogan on its social media accounts.
These actions by the GOP, and others like them, suggest that the propensity to disseminate false statements and blatant lies that was commonplace under the former president is being mainstreamed on the political right among Republican lawmakers in Congress, as well as conservative political organizations across the country, showcasing the fact that extreme misinformation in U.S. politics will continue to pose a problem in the months and years ahead.