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Portman says Republican leadership 'ought to stand up' against Greene's comments

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight Manchin compromise proposal a 'federal takeover of the election system,' GOP senator says MORE (R-Ohio) said on Sunday that Republican leadership “ought to stand up” against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) controversial comments that have resurfaced over the past week.

The Ohio senator, who has announced he will retire in 2022, called on GOP leadership to label Greene’s remarks, including her past support for violence against Democrats, first reported by CNN’s KFile, as “totally unacceptable.”

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“There is no place for violence in our political dialogue,” Portman told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “By the way, there is no place for violence in our country. I mean, this is something that we have got to get away from. So, yes, I think people ought to speak out clearly.”

When CNN’s Dana BashDana BashSullivan says US preparing more Russia sanctions over Navalny Sullivan: US will not be issuing 'threats or ultimatums' to China in COVID-19 origin investigation Sanders: Biden and I are 'taking a look at reality for working families' for infrastructure plan MORE asked whether Greene should be removed from her assignment on the House Committee on Education and Labor, Portman said he assumes “that is something they’re looking at.”

“I wouldn't be surprised if that happens,” the senator responded. “And, you know, I think that is the way to send a message. The voters who elected her in her district in Georgia ought to be respected. On the other hand, when that kind of behavior occurs, there has to be a strong response.”

 

Portman became the third Republican senator, following Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? MORE (N.C.) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (Pa.), to say he will not run for reelection in 2022.

Greene received a lot of backlash over the past week after her past social media posts emerged, such as her 2018 comment that the “stage is being set” to a post calling for the assassinations of former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: The center strikes back Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE and former President Obama.

In 2019, she liked a Facebook comment that said “a bullet to the head would be quicker” to remove Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack GOP increasingly balks at calling Jan. 6 an insurrection MORE (D-Calif.) from office.

The Georgia Republican has also backed conspiracies online, including QAnon theories and speculation that school shootings were false flag operations. A video of her taunting Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg in 2018 resurfaced last week and prompted Hogg and a parent of a student who was killed to request Greene’s removal from Congress.

Pelosi had slammed Republican leadership in the House for giving Greene her committee assignment dealing with education despite her school shooting comments, saying “the enemy is within” the House.

Greene’s removal would need two-thirds support in the House, which is unlikely. But a spokesperson for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyGOP divided over bills targeting tech giants GOP increasingly balks at calling Jan. 6 an insurrection House Democrats' campaign arm raises almost million in May MORE (R-Calif.) said last week that her remarks “are deeply disturbing” and the leader “plans to have a conversation with the Congresswoman about them.”