House GOP leadership on Tuesday condemned one of their own — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene — for her recent comments likening coronavirus restrictions to the Holocaust.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) all asserted that the controversial freshman Georgia Republican’s remarks do not reflect the views of the party.
Greene first came under fire last week after making comments to Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody comparing the mask mandate that still exists on the House floor to Jewish people in Nazi Germany being forced to wear yellow stars. She also accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of “abuse” over the mandate.
Multiple GOP lawmakers and Jewish groups have come out against her rhetoric.
Still, Greene doubled down Tuesday while tweeting out an article about a Tennessee grocery story adding a “vaccination logo” to employee name badges, once again equating it to the Nazis’ use of yellow stars, which she misstated as “gold stars.”
“Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star. Vaccine passports & mask mandates create discrimination against unvaxxed people who trust their immune systems to a virus that is 99% survivable,” she tweeted.
“Pretty soon it will be. ‘We only hire vaccinated people, show your vax papers. ‘We only admit vaccinated students, show your vax papers.’ ‘These bathrooms are only for vaccinated people, show your vax papers.’
“Then.. …scan your bar code or swipe your chip on your arm,” she added.
McCarthy called her comparison on having to wear masks — which until vaccines became widely available in the last few months were one of the strongest defenses against the virus — and the prospect of vaccine passports to the Holocaust, during which the Nazis murdered more than 6 million Jews, “appalling.” He also took a swipe at Democrats for the split in the party over support for Israel.
“Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling. The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling. At a time when the Jewish people face increased violence and threats, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” he said in a statement.
“Americans must stand together to defeat anti-Semitism and any attempt to diminish the history of the Holocaust. Let me be clear: the House Republican Conference condemns this language.”
Scalise, through spokeswoman Lauren Fine, also highlighted that Greene’s comments come as the country has faced an uptick in anti-Semitic attacks following the rise in tensions between Israel and Hamas in recent weeks. A cease-fire has since been called in the region.
“[Scalise] does not agree with these comments and condemns these comparisons to the Holocaust,” she said.
“We also need to be speaking out strongly against the dangerous anti-Semitism that is growing in our streets and in the Democrat party, resulting in an alarming number of horrific violent attacks against Jews.”
Stefanik, newly installed as the No. 3 House Republican, echoed her fellow leaders’ sentiments, adding that she feels it’s important people be educated on the “unthinkable horrors of the Holocaust.”
“Equating mask wearing and vaccines to the Holocaust belittles the
most significant human atrocities ever committed. We must all work
together to educate our fellow Americans on the unthinkable horrors of
the Holocaust. #NeverAgain,” she tweeted.
And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — who has indirectly condemned inflammatory comments made by Greene in the past — told CNN that her comments are “outrageous” and “reprehensible.”
Despite coming under fire, Greene defended her comments, quote-tweeting conservative commentator Ben Shapiro’s condemnation of her remarks, accusing him of “feeding into the left wing media attacks.”
“I never compared it to the Holocaust, only the discrimination against Jews in early Nazi years. Stop feeding into the left wing media attacks on me. Everyone should be concerned about the squads support for terrorists and discrimination against unvaxxed people. Why aren’t they?” she tweeted.
She went on to accuse Democrats and the media of taking her comments out of context in a tweet thread, accusing members across the aisle of embracing anti-Semitism while making her case against mandatory masks and vaccinations.
“The media and Democrats and everyone feeding into it is allowing them to hide the truth, which is the disgusting anti-semitism within the Democrat Party. At a time when the Socialist Democrats and the Jihad Squad are supporting terrorists Hamas, and their supporters are attacking Jewish people on the streets of America, it’s never been more important than now to stand up against forced vaccinations and mask mandates that the left is using to discriminate against Americans who refuse to comply,” she tweeted.
“And everyone feeding into it is allowing them to hide the truth, which is the disgusting anti-semitism within the Democrat Party. The Democrats are the party of division, hate, critical race theory (pure racism), discrimination, totalitarianism, socialism, globalism, gender destruction, BDS, defunding our police, and ANTIFA / BLM terrorists.”
While GOP leaders have rebuked her comments, no formal disciplinary action has been taken.
In 2019, the House passed a resolution to condemn anti-Semitism and all hate speech after progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) made what were perceived as anti-Semitic comments alleging pro-Israel advocates were pushing for “allegiance to a foreign country.” Omar was not directly named in the resolution.
Greene has been embroiled in multiple controversies since she launched her bid for Congress. The House voted largely along party lines earlier this year to remove her from her committee assignments after incendiary comments from before she took office emerged voicing support for the QAnon movement, Facebook posts calling for the execution of Pelosi and other top Democrats.
She has also drawn fire for having endorsed false conspiracy theories that the 9/11 terrorist attacks and mass school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Parkland, Fla., were hoaxes and for embracing a conspiracy theory that the 2018 California wildfires were sparked by a laser from space controlled by the Rothschilds, a prominent Jewish family.
Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) previously introduced a resolution to expel Greene from Congress, but has not moved to force a vote.
“I think she rises to the level of removal,” he told The Post earlier this month. “It’s already been introduced, I just need to call it up. I’m waiting for a better moment.”