Washington — Freshman Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose past remarks endorsing violence against Democratic leaders and espousing conspiracy theories about mass shootings may, addressed the GOP conference Wednesday evening to express remorse for those comments.
She told Republican colleagues she believes school shootings are real and called them "awful," and apologized for her past support for QAnon conspiracy theories, according to two sources familiar with the meeting.
Greene's private comments to her colleagues — who also have the power to strip her of her committee assignments — stand in stark contrast to her public comments, where she has refused to back away from her past statements in the face of criticism and boasted about raising some $175,000 over efforts to punish her on Wednesday alone.
Greene's apology followed a statement from House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, in which he declined to commit to any sort of punishment for Greene over her history of incendiary comments. Instead, he blasted Democrats for "choosing to raise the temperature" by moving toward kicking her off her committee assignments.
McCarthy said in a statement that he's met with Greene over her "past statements" and said he holds her to her words and actions going forward, but made no comments to indicate he or the steering committee would remove Greene from her committee assignments. The House Rules Committee voted to advance a resolution to strip Greene of her committees Wednesday, paving the way for a final vote in the full House on Thursday.
"I understand that Marjorie's comments have caused deep wounds to many and as a result, I offered Majority Leader Hoyer a path to lower the temperature and address these concerns," McCarthy said. "Instead of coming together to do that, the Democrats are choosing to raise the temperature by taking the unprecedented step to further their partisan power grab regarding the committee assignments of the other party."
McCarthy told reporters Wednesday evening that he had offered to move Greene to the Small Business Committee in exchange for removing her from the Education and Labor Committee, but that the offer was rejected by Democrats.
At the House Rules Committee Meeting Wednesday, some Republicans distanced themselves from Greene's remarks while saying that any complaints should be handled by the House Ethics Committee instead of a floor vote, or echoing McCarthy's concerns that Democrats were overstepping their power as the majority party and would come to regret it if they lose the House.
Greene has been at the center of controversy since her first days in Congress, but Democrats have called for the Georgia congresswoman to be punished after it was recently revealed she peddled conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terror attacks and the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. CNN also uncovered social media activity in which Greene appeared to support comments that called for executing top Democrats, while Facebook posts uncovered last year appear to show her making anti-Semitic comments.
Earlier Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went after McCarthy by labeling him "Q-CA," meaning QAnon-California, in an effort to tie him to Greene.
Melissa Quinn contributed to this report.
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