Ahead of a vote to launch two House committees, Republican MP Marjorie Taylor Greene said Thursday she regretted some of the false conspiracy theories she has put forward in the past, including her statements of support for QAnon.
“I got to believe things that weren’t true and I asked questions about them and talked about them,” said Greene, “and that’s absolutely what I regret.”
The Georgian lawmaker, which has faced heavy bipartisan criticism for her earlier comments, said in a speech on the floor of the house that she did not believe in a number of conspiracies she negotiated before taking office. But she made no explicit apology in her final remarks and spent a significant portion of her speech deciphering the mainstream media and “breaking off culture”.
“I’m a very normal American,” said Greene. She later added, “I haven’t said anything about this since I was elected to Congress.”
She supported QAnon, the internet-born conspiracy that former President Donald Trump was embroiled in a secret battle to eradicate a cabal of criminal political elites made up of Democrats, Hollywood insiders, and the “deep state”.
Believers in the conspiracy were among those seen by a swarm of Trump’s supporters during the January 6th invasion of the Capitol.
Greene reportedly referred to QAnon in 2017 as “a golden opportunity to take down this global cabal of pedophiles who worship Satan.”
But on Thursday on the floor of the house, Greene said, “When I started finding misinformation, lies, and things that weren’t true in these QAnon posts in 2018, I stopped believing in them.”
Greene’s speech dealt with a litany of her most criticized previous remarks, including her reported suggestion that some school shootings had been carried out.
“School shootings are absolutely real,” she said on Thursday. “I know the fear David Hogg felt that day,” she said, referring to the Parkland, Florida gunfight survivor who previously mocked her.
“I also want to tell you that September 11th absolutely happened,” said Greene, who allegedly expressed support for the conspiracy theory in 2018 that a plane failed to hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. “I definitely want to tell you I don’t think it’s wrong.”
She also appeared to be addressing one of her recent controversies: a CNN report showing her Facebook profile, on which she liked or replied in favor of messages advocating the execution of prominent Democrats, including House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi.
“Without the Facebook posts and comments I enjoyed in 2018, I wouldn’t be here today and you couldn’t point a finger and accuse me of doing something wrong,” claimed Greene, who has promoted numerous others Conspiracies and incendiary messages.
NBC News reported that Greene denied some of their conspiracies during a closed-door meeting of the Republican caucus on Wednesday night. However, prior to her speech on Thursday, Greene had remained publicly defiant.
Greene claims she recently spoke to Trump and has his support. But other Republican leaders have criticized Greene in varying degrees for her earlier statements.
California MP Kevin McCarthy, the House’s top Republican, said Wednesday he “unequivocally” condemns her comments. But he continued to attack the Democrats for refusing to reprimand their own members for making controversial remarks.
Senate Minority Chairman Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Offered a broader rejection of Greene’s “crazy lies and conspiracy theories” calling them “Cancer for the Republican Party and Our Country”.
The House will vote on Thursday afternoon whether Greene should be stripped of her duties on the Budget Committee and the Education and Labor Committee.
McCarthy had tried to avoid a vote on Greene, suggesting instead that the GOP would remove her mandate on the Education Committee if she could stay on the Budgets Committee, a source told NBC News. Democrats turned down this offer.
Steny Hoyer, House Majority Chair, D-Md., Said Wednesday after speaking with McCarthy: “It is clear that there is no alternative to holding a vote on the decision to remove Rep. Greene from her committee duties. “
The resolution was passed after a hearing later that day by the House Rules Committee, over the objections of Republican members who argued over the process, warning that it would set a dangerous precedent for a majority party to overturn the rankings of a minority member’s committee.