McCarthy: Greene, Gosar could still return to committees despite attending white nationalist event

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) addresses reporters during his weekly on-camera press conference on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.
Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Wednesday said that GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) will have their committee seats restored next year if Republicans win back the House despite their participation in a white nationalist conference last month.

McCarthy said that he has spoken with Greene in recent days but has yet to talk with Gosar after the two spoke at the America First Political Action Conference organized by white nationalist Nick Fuentes.

“She will not go again,” McCarthy said of Greene. 

“There’s no place for what has gone on with that organization by far, and there never will be in this party, and it will never be tolerated,” McCarthy said at a press conference in the Capitol. 

McCarthy pledged last fall to reinstate Greene and Gosar on House committees after Democrats — and a handful of Republicans — voted last year to take away their seats for promoting the idea of political violence.

And on Wednesday, he affirmed that hasn’t changed.

“They have the ability to be able to get committees based upon that time when it comes,” McCarthy said.

By contrast, McCarthy and his leadership team removed former Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) from committees in 2019 for questioning why the terms white nationalism and white supremacy were considered offensive. 

But now, McCarthy is eyeing the Speaker’s gavel as Republicans are favored to win the House majority in the November midterm elections, and the California lawmaker is trying to maintain an alliance with the far-right members of his conference who are close with former President Trump.

McCarthy last week said that Greene’s and Gosar’s involvement in the white nationalist conference was “unacceptable” — only to avoid answering any further questions about repercussions for the two far-right lawmakers the next day.

Greene attended the conference in Orlando, Fla., in person. Despite later claiming she doesn’t know Fuentes, she shook hands with him after he introduced her to the crowd. 

As Fuentes warmed up the crowd before Greene took the stage, he said that “young white men” are his organization’s “secret sauce,” declared that “America and the world has forgotten about them” and asked the crowd to “give a round of applause for Russia.”

Greene claimed that she wasn’t listening to Fuentes’s remarks before coming on stage and has since distanced herself from his white nationalist views. 

“I’m not associated with any of his comments. I don’t believe those things. I’m only responsible for my words and my words only,” Greene told The Hill last week. 

Gosar participated in the conference via a pre-recorded video but spoke at the gathering in person last year.

Tags 2022 midterms committee assignments Donald Trump House minority leader Kevin McCarthy Marjorie Taylor Greene Paul Gosar Steve King white nationalism
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