Top Democrats in Congress on Thursday blasted congressional Republicans for assigning to the House education committee Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) — who has identified with the QAnon cult and called deadly school shootings “false-flag” operations.
On Wednesday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) condemned the Republican leadership for giving her the committee assignment.
“What I am concerned about is the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives who is willing to overlook, ignore those statements,” she said. “Assigning her to the education committee when she has mocked the killing of little children at Sandy Hook Elementary school. When she has mocked the killing of teenagers in high school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“What could they be thinking — or is thinking too generous a word about what they might be doing. It’s absolutely appalling.”
The committee is headed by Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.). He issued a statement on Thursday, saying that House Republican leadership is responsible for appointing members to the education committee who “reflect their commitment to serving students, parents and educators.”
House Republicans have appointed someone to this Committee who claimed that the killing of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax.House Republicans have appointed someone to this Committee who claimed that the killing of 14 students and three teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was staged.House Republicans have appointed someone to this Committee who chased and berated a 17-year-old survivor of a mass school shooting, and then celebrated this behavior by posting it on social media.House Republicans have appointed someone to this Committee who has publicly endorsed violence against elected officials.House Republicans made this appointment and Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy must explain how someone with this background represents the Republican party on education issues. He is sending a clear message to students, parents, and educators about the views of the Republican party.”
McCarthy’s office did not respond to a query about why Republicans appointed her to the committee. Neither did the offices of other Republican congressional leaders, including Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference.
House Republicans are also assigning to the panel Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.). He addressed President Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 rally, falsely claiming that Trump had won the November elections, before a mob of Trump supporters staged an attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Asked about her past comments about school shootings and QAnon, her press secretary, Nick Dyer, said in an email to Education Week, which first reported on the committee assignments, and then to The Washington Post:
“Congresswoman Greene is excited to join the House Education and Labor Committee. Rep. Greene is ready to get to work to reopen every school in America, expand school choice, protect homeschooling, champion religious freedom for student and teachers, and prevent men and boys from unfairly competing with women and girls in sports.”
Dyer did not respond to emails asking about Greene’s support for QAnon, a cult of people who allege that Trump has been secretly working to expose an elite cabal of child sexual abusers — including prominent political figures in Washington — that has been concealed by America’s intelligence agencies and other “deep state” actors.
Greene also expressed support for conspiracy theories about school shootings being fake and/or staged by gun-control advocates trying to drum up support for their cause. They include the deadly 2012 assault at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut — which left 26 people dead, including 20 children — and the 2018 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in 2018, which left 17 people dead.
According to this Post story, Greene interacted with a Facebook user after she posted a link to a piece published by the conspiracy theory-spreading site Gateway Pundit about former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. The story says:
Two years before she was elected to Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene hopped on Facebook to respond to a comment falsely claiming that the Parkland, Fla., school shooting was staged, according to screenshots posted by Media Matters for America, a liberal media watchdog group. Instead of rejecting the false claim surrounding the mass shooting that killed 17 people, Greene enthusiastically agreed with the conspiracy theory.“Exactly!” she wrote in response.Those comments, along with a number of other instances unearthed this week of Greene casting doubt on school shootings, sparked outrage among survivors and family members of those killed in two of the country’s deadliest mass shootings....Three months later, Greene — who was then a right-wing media commentator — posted a news article about the Broward County sheriff’s deputy who failed to confront the shooter, Media Matters for America reported.In the comments section, someone wrote: “It’s called a pay off to keep his mouth shut since it was a false flag planned shooting.” Greene replied: “Exactly!”
And there’s more: CNN reported that it had reviewed Greene’s Facebook activity, which repeatedly endorsed violence against Democratic leaders and federal agents.
Here’s the list of the 11 new Republican members on the House education committee:
Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa)
Rep. Burgess Owens (Utah)
Rep. Bob Good (Va.)
Rep. Lisa C. McClain (Mich.)
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.)
Rep. Diana Harshbarger (Tenn.)
Rep. Mary E. Miller (Ill.)
Rep. Victoria Spartz (Ind.)
Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (Wis.)
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (N.C.)