Exiled From Committees, Greene Says She Is ‘Freed’ to Push Republicans to the Right

WASHINGTON — One day after the House voted to banish her from congressional committees, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene sent a defiant message to both parties on Friday, warning that the punishment had only “freed” her to press Republicans further to the right and insist on their allegiance to former President Donald J. Trump.

In a wide-ranging news conference in front of the Capitol, Ms. Greene, a first-term Republican from Georgia, said that although the House’s vote on Thursday to remove her from two panels had deprived her constituents of an important voice in Congress, it had personally benefited her.

“Going forward, I’ve been freed,” Ms. Greene said, adding, “I’m going to be holding the Republican Party accountable and pushing them to the right.”

Ms. Greene’s comments and determination to remain in the spotlight obliterated whatever hopes House Republican leaders may have had that she would quiet down in the name of party unity after her rebuke. And it underscored the influence the former president, who has effusively praised Ms. Greene, still has over some of the loudest voices in Congress.

“The party is his,” Ms. Greene said. “It doesn’t belong to anybody else.”

On Thursday, 11 Republicans joined all the Democrats in the chamber in voting to remove Ms. Greene’s committee assignments, after a stream of social media posts surfaced in which she had endorsed dangerous conspiracy theories and political violence, including the execution of top Democrats.

Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, had refused to discipline her, forcing an uncomfortable vote for House Republicans, who had to choose between defending Ms. Greene or alienating their voters who subscribe to similar beliefs.

The episode laid bare deep divisions among Republicans about how to move forward as a party. In the days leading to the vote on Ms. Greene, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the most powerful Republican in Washington, had denounced her statements, which he called “loony lies,” saying such conspiracy theories were a “cancer” on the party.

Several other top Republican senators had joined him in censuring Ms. Greene and saying she could not become the face of the party.

Ms. Greene has shown varying degrees of contrition for her past embrace of QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy movement, and for her previous comments, which included endorsing the killing of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, falsely suggesting that several mass shootings were secretly perpetrated by government actors and spreading a range of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic conspiracy theories.

In emotional remarks on the House floor, Ms. Greene expressed regret on Thursday for some of her earlier comments and disavowed many of her most outlandish and repugnant statements. She admitted, for instance, that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks occurred, but did not apologize, saying that she had been “allowed to believe things that weren’t true.”

Asked by a CNN reporter on Friday if she would apologize for some of her most offensive comments made before she was elected to Congress, Ms. Greene initially instead demanded that the reporter offer an apology for the network’s coverage of the Trump-Russia investigation.

But when another journalist pressed her, she offered her first unequivocal apology to date.

“Of course I’m sorry for saying all those things that are wrong and offensive,” Ms. Greene said. “And I sincerely mean that, and I’m happy to say that. I think it’s good to say when we’ve done something wrong.”

But hours before, she had sounded a different tone.

“I woke up early this morning literally laughing thinking about what a bunch of morons the Democrats (+11) are for giving some one like me free time,” she wrote on Twitter. “In this Democrat tyrannical government, Conservative Republicans have no say on committees anyway. Oh this is going to be fun!”

Glenn Thrush contributed reporting.

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