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Marjorie Taylor Greene says Nancy Pelosi leads ‘gazpacho police,’ causing collective spit take

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) outside the U.S. Capitol last month, on the first anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection. (Amanda Voisard for The Washington Post)
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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has long been the center of controversy for comparing Democrats and their policies to Nazi Germany — but it’s her latest attempt, in which she appeared to confuse its secret state police force with a cold soup from Spain, that has stirred up Washington.

Greene appeared on One America News on Tuesday and accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of using Capitol police as “political pawns” and “sending them into our offices” — referring to a complaint from her colleague Rep. Troy E. Nehls (R-Tex.). The Capitol Police has rejected Nehls’s claim that a security check of his open office was an illegal investigation, calling it protocol when an unattended office has a door left open.

Greene referenced “Pelosi’s gazpacho police spying on members of Congress, spying on the legislative work that we do, spying on our staff and spying on American citizens that want to come talk to their representatives.”

Pelosi has yet to comment publicly on the apparent mix-up of “gazpacho” and “Gestapo” — but she told reporters during Wednesday’s weekly news conference that “I have no power over the Capitol Police. Does anybody not know that?”

Greene’s word soup quickly went viral online, sparking memes and reactions shared by politicians and other prominent figures.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) wrote that “Twitter is undefeated” while sharing a picture of Pelosi that was altered to appear as if she is holding a wooden spoon in front of a bowl of gazpacho.

The cold tomato-based soup, thought to have originated in the Andalusia area of Spain, is widely enjoyed around the world.

Spanish-born celebrity chef José Andrés jokingly took credit for creating the “gazpacho police” to “make sure that no one will add Tabasco or jalalpeño or strange things to my beloved soup! Please don’t blame anybody else but me … stop by for a glass anytime. Don’t forget your mask and vaccination card!” he tweeted.

Comedian Noel Casler tweeted: “Sure the Gazpacho Police are bad but the elite Vichyssoise inspired pureed terror.”

Greene herself acknowledged the roasting, tweeting: “No soup for those who illegally spy on Members of Congress, but they will be thrown in the goulash.”

Many others stressed that despite the humor in some of the responses — the underlying comparison was inappropriate.

Holly McCormack, a Democrat running against Greene for Congress, wrote: “First, Nazi comparisons are unbecoming of a Congresswoman. Second, I am not surprised Marge does not know the difference between gazpacho and Gestapo.”

“To be clear even though Marjorie Taylor Greene said gazpacho, what she was trying to say was absolutely atrocious and warrants her immediate expulsion,” tweeted Scott Dworkin, chief of the Democratic Coalition, a super PAC.

Weeks after Holocaust Museum visit, Rep. Greene makes new Nazi-era comparison in opposing vaccination push

Congressional leaders in both parties condemned Greene in the spring for comparing coronavirus restrictions in the U.S. Capitol to what Jewish people suffered during the Holocaust. In the summer, weeks after she visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and apologized for comparing mask requirements to the Nazis forcing Jews to wear Star of David badges — and calling gas chambers “exactly the type of abuse Nancy Pelosi is talking about” — Greene made headlines again for using another Nazi analogy in opposing the Biden administration’s coronavirus vaccination push.

The Republican National Committee’s censure of GOP Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) on Feb. 4 continued to split Republicans days later. (Video: JM Rieger/The Washington Post)

Greene has continued to attack pandemic policies, refused to wear a mask on the House floor and shared false information about the virus. She has incurred thousands of dollars in fines for violating the House policy on face coverings.

The congresswoman has also been repeatedly criticized for spreading misinformation about the pandemic to her thousands of social media followers. Last month, Facebook suspended Greene for 24 hours, a day after Twitter suspended her personal account for repeatedly violating the company’s policy. At the time, she argued that the penalties were problematic because she is an elected official and represents more than 700,000 “US tax paying citizens.”

U.S. Capitol Police rejects GOP congressman’s claim that check of his open office is illegal investigation

The latest Greene incident was sparked after Nehls claimed in a Twitter thread on Tuesday that “Capitol Police entered my office without my knowledge and photographed confidential legislative products” in Novemberand that they took photographs of a whiteboard. He later told Fox News that he was being “targeted” and accused Pelosi of “weaponizing” the Capitol Police to silence him.

Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger responded in a statement on Tuesday that an officer had conducted a security check of an office after a door was left “wide open.”

“The United States Capitol Police is sworn to protect Members of Congress. If a Member’s office is left open and unsecured, without anyone inside the office, USCP officers are directed to document that and secure the office to ensure nobody can wander in and steal or do anything else nefarious,” Manger said.

The Monday after the agent stepped into Nehls’s office, Manger added, Capitol Police personnel followed up with the lawmaker’s staff about the issue and determined that no further action or investigation was needed.