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Scalise confident Marjorie Taylor Greene won't launch 'America First Caucus'

House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseTop female GOP senator compares Cheney ousting to 'cancel culture' McCarthy schedules vote to oust Cheney for Wednesday Trump amplifies attacks on Cheney ahead of key vote MORE (R-La.) said Tuesday he’s confident Rep. Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida QAnon site shutters after reports identifying developer Republicans head to runoff in GA-14 MORE (R-Ga.) and other pro-Trump lawmakers will not be launching an “America First Caucus” that promotes nativism and white nationalism.

“There is no caucus that they’ve formed. I think what Marjorie said was a staffer wrote that [caucus platform]. She did, and she said she’s not pursuing that,” Scalise told reporters after a closed-door meeting of House Republicans.  

“There is no member of Congress who said they are creating that kind of caucus.” 

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He added: “Nobody should be promoting an agenda that excludes anybody else.” 

It marked the first time Scalise weighed in on the controversy. The No. 2 GOP leader is just the latest in a growing chorus of Republicans to distance themselves from the proposed caucus.   

Greene and Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarGaetz, House Republicans introduce bill to defund Postal Service covert operations program 136 Republicans get Fs in accountability rankings from anti-Trump GOP group House rejects GOP resolution to censure Waters MORE (R-Ariz.), two staunch defenders of of former President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE, had been discussing the creation of a new caucus, and a draft policy platform began circulating on Capitol Hill late last week that called for the defense of “uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions” and infrastructure based in “European architecture.”  

Greene has dismissed the seven-page document as a “staff level draft proposal from an outside group” that she had never approved. And CNN reported that she and Gosar have scrapped the launch of the new caucus amid the GOP backlash.

Scalise, whose own career was nearly derailed by a 2014 race controversy, said Tuesday that he subscribes to the vision of America as a diverse melting pot and land of immigrants.

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“What makes America great is our diversity, all the people who come from all around the world, legally coming to America to seek the American dream, like my great-grandparents sought when they came from Italy,” Scalise said. “People come, and we’re a great melting pot in America. People of all faiths, of all beliefs know that this is the place, this is the bastion of freedom where anybody can come and if they seek that American dream. It’s there for them today."

“We all ought to promote that,” he added. “Nobody should be promoting an agenda that excludes anybody else.”

Democrats, meanwhile, are taking every opportunity to highlight the draft agenda of the America First Caucus in an effort to portray the entire GOP as out of touch when it comes to issues of racial justice.

Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesOn The Money: Breaking down Biden's .8T American Families Plan | Powell voices confidence in Fed's handle on inflation | Wall Street basks in 'Biden boom' Democratic leaders push to boost congressional staff pay Troy Carter wins race to fill Cedric Richmond's Louisiana House seat MORE (N.Y.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, characterized the group Tuesday as "a Jim Crow, KKK-like caucus" — an idea that he said "should shock the conscience of every American."

"The model of this country is E pluribus unum: Out of many, we are one. Not out of many Anglo Saxons; not out of many Europeans; not out of many Confederate sympathizers. Out of many, we are one," he said. "That is what makes America a great country."

Mike Lillis contributed.