The White House on Monday strongly condemned the claim from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) that she and former Trump aide Stephen K. Bannon would have executed a successful attack on Jan. 6, 2021, if they had organized the storming of the U.S. Capitol and that they would have “been armed.”
The divisive Republican pushed back on theories that she was a ringleader of the violent incident that left more than 100 law enforcement officers injured. “I want to tell you something, if Steve Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won. Not to mention, we would’ve been armed,” Greene said Saturday at a dinner hosted by the New York Young Republican Club, according to the New York Post.
Deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates said the comments were a “slap in the face” to the law enforcement officers who risked their lives to keep Greene and other lawmakers safe from the violent mob seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and stop Congress from counting the electoral votes for Joe Biden’s win over President Donald Trump.
“This violent rhetoric is a slap in the face to the Capitol Police, the DC Metropolitan Police, the National Guard, and the families who lost loved ones as a result of the attack on the Capitol,” Bates said in a statement.
“All leaders have a responsibility to condemn these dangerous, abhorrent remarks and stand up for our Constitution and the rule of law,” Bates added.
Underscoring the criticism, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at the daily briefing Monday afternoon that “it is just antithetical to our values as a country for a member of Congress to wish that the carnage of January 6 had been even worse and brag that they would have succeeded in an armed insurrection against the United States government.” Jean-Pierre added: “This is someone who is expected to have their committee positions restored. So we should let that sink in.”
Greene said Monday that her comment was a “sarcastic joke” about President Biden in a statement that mentioned Hollywood celebrities, drag queens and antifa.
“The White House needs to learn how sarcasm works,” Greene said. “My comments were making fun of Joe Biden and the Democrats, who have continuously made me a political target since January 6th.”
Greene has regularly argued that participants in the Jan. 6 attack have been mistreated, and she has indicated that she plans to investigate the bipartisan House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attacks when Republicans take the majority in January. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is hoping to become speaker in the next Congress, also has signaled that the GOP would investigate the panel.
The insurrection, the worst attack on the seat of U.S. democracy in more than two centuries, left four people dead, and police officer Brian D. Sicknick, who had been sprayed with a powerful chemical irritant, had two strokes and died the next day. About 140 members of law enforcement were injured as rioters attacked them with flagpoles, baseball bats, stun guns, bear spray and pepper spray.
Greene initially objected to the language in the original legislation to award Congressional Gold Medals — the highest honor from Congress — to the police officers who protected the Capitol and lawmakers that day.
“I wouldn’t call it an insurrection,” she told Politico at the time.
At last week’s ceremony when Congress gave out the medals, members of Sicknick’s family declined to shake hands with Republican leaders because of their fealty to Trump.
McCarthy has pledged to award Greene committee assignments next year; the first-term lawmaker was stripped of them in February 2021 for articulating extremist views, including being an open adherent of the QAnon ideology, a web of false claims that played a role in inspiring the Capitol attack. She has also claimed that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by government forces and that a Jewish cabal sparked a deadly wildfire with a space beam.
On Jan. 3, Greene is scheduled to be sworn in for another term and take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”
McCarthy’s office did not respond to a request for comment Monday.
The Jan. 6 insurrection
The report: The Jan. 6 committee released its final report, marking the culmination of an 18-month investigation into the violent insurrection. Read The Post’s analysis about the committee’s new findings and conclusions.
The final hearing: The House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol held its final public meeting where members referred four criminal charges against former president Donald Trump and others to the Justice Department. Here’s what the criminal referrals mean.
The riot: On Jan. 6, 2021, a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 election results. Five people died on that day or in the immediate aftermath, and 140 police officers were assaulted.
Inside the siege: During the rampage, rioters came perilously close to penetrating the inner sanctums of the building while lawmakers were still there, including former vice president Mike Pence. The Washington Post examined text messages, photos and videos to create a video timeline of what happened on Jan. 6. Here’s what we know about what Trump did on Jan. 6.