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GOP leaders silent on QAnon-believing candidate now distancing themselves

Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks to a GOP women’s group on March 3 in Rome, Ga. (John Bailey/Rome News-Tribune/AP)

Republican leaders who said nothing after Marjorie Taylor Greene, a believer of the QAnon conspiracy theory, won a GOP primary in Georgia last week are now distancing themselves from her candidacy after the discovery of videos of her making racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic comments.

The Facebook videos were unearthed by Politico. It reported Wednesday that in those hours of videos, Greene had said that black people “are held slaves to the Democratic Party,” called prominent Jewish Democratic donor George Soros a “Nazi” and suggested that Muslims shouldn’t hold elected public office.

Congressional GOP leaders immediately condemned her comments on learning about them, yet only Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) actively said he would not support her.

“The comments made by Ms. Greene are disgusting and don’t reflect the values of equality and decency that make our country great,” Scalise said, offering his endorsement to the other Republican she will be up against in an August runoff election.

Although the other Republican leaders in Congress didn’t go as far as Scalise did, they used forceful language to distance themselves from Greene.

A spokesman for House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (Wyo.) said, “Obviously, Rep. Cheney opposes these offensive and bigoted comments.” A spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee said its chairman, Rep. Tom Emmer (Minn.), “strongly condemned” Greene’s remarks.

Drew Florio, a spokesman for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), did not respond to a Washington Post request for comment but told Politico that the “comments are appalling, and Leader McCarthy has no tolerance for them.”

Why QAnon supporters are winning congressional primaries

In a fiery two-page statement, Greene slammed “Mitt Romney-style Republicans,” the “Fake News Media” and the “DC Swamp.”

“Every Republican, every Christian Conservative is going to be called a racist and a bigot by the Fake News Media, as have Steve Scalise and Liz Cheney. I’m sorry my future colleagues are unable to stand up to the pressure and fight back,” she said. “I’m sick-and-tired of watching establishment Republicans play defense while the Fake News Media cheers on Antifa terrorists, BLM rioters, and the woke cancel culture, as they burn our cities, loot our businesses, vandalize our memorials, and divide our nation.”

Greene won her primary last week in conservative northwestern Georgia with 40 percent of the vote, falling short of the majority and triggering a runoff with the second-place finisher Aug. 11. As long as her primary support holds, Greene would almost certainly win in November — President Trump won the district with 75 percent of the vote — and take her place as a Republican member of Congress.

Although these unearthed comments are new, Greene’s support for QAnon, considered a potential domestic terrorist threat by the FBI, has been well documented. The Southern Poverty Law Center devotes a page of its website to her as part of its “Hatewatch.”

Yet none of the top GOP leaders responded last week when asked about Greene and her affiliations with QAnon, which believes that Trump will save the country from the corrupt “deep state.” In 2017, QAnon spread a baseless story about a child-sex-abuse operation run by prominent Democrats out of a D.C. pizza shop, which led to one believer coming to the restaurant and firing an AR-15.

Greene has amassed some support on Capitol Hill, boasting of endorsements from a handful of Republicans, including Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Matt Gaetz (Fla.), both Trump allies. Neither responded last week to requests for comment about her primary win or Wednesday about the unearthed incendiary comments.