GOP leaders condemn Greene’s Holocaust comments
The top three House Republican leaders on Tuesday condemned Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) for repeatedly equating COVID-19 vaccination and mask-wearing rules to the Holocaust, the murder of 6 million Jews during World War II.
“Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling. The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling,” Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a statement.
“At a time when the Jewish people face increased violence and threats, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” he continued. “Americans must stand together to defeat anti-Semitism and any attempt to diminish the history of the Holocaust.
“Let me be clear: the House Republican Conference condemns this language.”
Lauren Fine, a spokeswoman for Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), said “he does not agree with these comments and condemns these comparisons to the Holocaust. We also need to be speaking out strongly against the dangerous anti-Semitism that is growing in our streets and in the Democrat party, resulting in an alarming number of horrific violent attacks against Jews.”
And House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) said on Twitter that “equating mask wearing and vaccines to the Holocaust belittles the most significant human atrocities ever committed.”
Equating mask wearing and vaccines to the Holocaust belittles the most significant human atrocities ever committed. We must all work together to educate our fellow Americans on the unthinkable horrors of the Holocaust. #NeverAgain
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) May 25, 2021
But none of the GOP leaders responded to questions Tuesday about whether Greene should be ousted from their 211-member House Conference, even after a new video showed her at a public meeting in 2020 saying she would not take down a statue of Hitler.
A spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) knocked McCarthy for being slow to respond to Greene’s Holocaust comparison and for not backing any consequences for her.
“Leader McCarthy waited days to even issue a statement in response to one of his Members demeaning the Holocaust, and he clearly intends to continue to welcome Marjorie Taylor Greene in the GOP and shield her from any real consequence or accountability for her antisemitism,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a statement.
“Leader McCarthy’s silence has spoken volumes about his allegiance to the most extreme elements of the GOP Conference.”
When reporters caught up with Pelosi in the Capitol, she called Greene’s remarks “so beyond reprehensible that, it’s, I mean — it has no place in our country.”
Greene is certainly no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year, Democrats and a handful of Republicans voted to boot her off her two House committees for social media posts that advocated violence against Democratic leaders and promoted a conspiracy theory that a space laser controlled by a wealthy Jewish family started the 2018 California wildfires.
The conservative freshman firebrand’s latest controversy has created yet another huge political headache for the GOP, putting party leaders on the defense at a time they are trying to paint Democrats as weak on Israel.
Republicans have accused President Biden and congressional Democrats of siding with the Palestinians in the recent fighting in the Middle East and being influenced by progressive “squad” members including Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who has condemned what she called Israel’s “apartheid” and “racist” policies.
Facing a barrage of criticism from both parties, Greene, a Trump loyalist and member of the far-right Freedom Caucus, doubled down Tuesday on her Holocaust remarks.
“Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star,” Greene tweeted.
Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star.
Vaccine passports & mask mandates create discrimination against unvaxxed people who trust their immune systems to a virus that is 99% survivable.https://t.co/6X6VNolcA7
— Marjorie Taylor Greene (@mtgreenee) May 25, 2021
She defended her comments in a follow-up tweet, saying she was only comparing vaccination rules to the early actions of the Nazis.
“I never compared it to the Holocaust, only the discrimination against Jews in early Nazi years,” she said while retweeting remarks from conservative commentator Ben Shapiro. “Stop feeding into the left wing media attacks on me. Everyone should be concerned about the squads support for terrorists and discrimination against unvaxxed people. Why aren’t they?”
I never compared it to the Holocaust, only the discrimination against Jews in early Nazi years.
Stop feeding into the left wing media attacks on me.
Everyone should be concerned about the squads support for terrorists and discrimination against unvaxxed people.
Why aren’t they? https://t.co/z1zotvegg9
— Marjorie Taylor Greene (@mtgreenee) May 25, 2021
Greene’s talk about Nazis and the Holocaust started last week during an appearance on the right-wing network Real America’s Voice. She ripped Pelosi for requiring masks on the House floor and for saying she didn’t trust some Republicans who’ve claimed they’ve been vaccinated.
“You know, we can look back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star and they were definitely treated like second class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany,” Greene said on the program. “And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”
—Updated at 1:01 p.m.
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