“I’m talking to my constituents,” Greene said, refusing to listen to the reporter’s question or offer any response.
Then, staffers from Greene’s office told the reporter she had “caused a disturbance” and demanded that she and her team leave, WRCB reported Wednesday night. A sheriff’s deputy threatened to arrest Aldis and her crew for trespassing at the public town hall, which reporters had been invited to attend, the station reported.
The incident capped days of fiery criticism of the freshman congresswoman, who is the first member of Congress to openly endorse the QAnon extremist ideology that the FBI has deemed a domestic terrorism threat.
The trouble began last week when liberal groups resurfaced old social media posts perpetuating false claims that several deadly school shootings had been staged. Then, CNN reported on other posts in which Greene appeared to support people advocating the execution of Democratic leaders. And on Wednesday, a video went viral of Greene berating activist David Hogg, a survivor of the 2018 Parkland school shooting, calling him a “coward” and accusing him of being paid by George Soros, the liberal billionaire philanthropist.
Those revelations led prominent Democrats and a few Republicans on Wednesday to demand her resignation, while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he planned to talk with Greene about what his spokesman called the “deeply disturbing” comments.
Greene has dismissed criticism from her colleagues and has called reporting about her past posts “fake news.” Her office also defended the decision on Wednesday to kick Aldis out of the town hall.
“This was a town hall for constituents. Not a press conference,” Nick Dyer, a spokesman for Greene’s office, told The Washington Post in an email. “Every attendee (besides media) was allowed to ask a question and Congresswoman Greene answered every question.”
But according to WRCB, an NBC affiliate in Chattanooga, Tenn., the reporters had credentials to attend the event and were told only after arriving that they would not be allowed to ask questions of Greene or anyone else at the town hall. The station also reported that Dalton residents had to register to attend the event and submit their questions for Greene in advance.
WRCB and Aldis did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Wednesday.
“Such advocacy for extremism and sedition not only demands her immediate expulsion from Congress, but it also merits strong and clear condemnation from all of her Republican colleagues,” Gomez said in a statement Wednesday.
Hogg, whom Greene confronted in the video shared on Twitter by Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime died in the Parkland shooting, also condemned the congresswoman’s behavior.
“As we fight for peace we also face massive amounts of death threats and armed intimidation simply for not wanting our friends to die anymore,” Hogg wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “This is not the country we should be and it’s not the country we have to be.”
Hogg’s sister, Lauren Hogg, who helped co-found March for Our Lives, said the believers in misinformation who harassed the young activists had significantly worsened the trauma of the shooting, which left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
“The harassment that @davidhogg111 and I received in the aftermath of the shooting was so severe that I have more PTSD from the harassment and conspiracy theorists that we’ve had to deal with … than I do going through the actual shooting,” she said on Twitter.
Several parents of victims who died in the Parkland shooting have also come forward to condemn Greene over her posts.
“What do we need to do?” Beigel Schulman said. “Show her the video? Do I need to take her over to Scott’s mausoleum? Does she need to see how he was shot six times from three feet away?”