Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday rebuked House Republican leaders for naming Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene to serve on the Education and Labor Committee, despite Ms. Greene’s previous false claims that deadly school shootings in Parkland, Fla., and Newtown, Conn., were staged.
Ms. Greene, a first-term congresswoman from Georgia with a history of supporting the pro-Trump QAnon movement, wrote on Facebook in 2018 that she agreed with one of her followers that the Parkland massacre that killed 17 students was a “false flag” event, a term used by conspiracy theorists to describe an act committed by one group — usually the government — for which another group is blamed.
In a video posted on YouTube in 2020 by her campaign, Ms. Greene followed and harassed David Hogg, a Parkland survivor who was visiting Capitol Hill to lobby for gun safety measures. In the video, Ms. Greene demanded that he explain why he was “using kids” to advance his cause, shouted that she was licensed to carry a firearm, and called him a “coward.”
Republican leaders announced this week that Ms. Greene would serve on the House’s education panel.
At a news conference on Thursday, Ms. Pelosi expressed concern that the House’s Republican leadership was comfortable assigning Ms. Greene to the education committee “when she has mocked the killing of little children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, when she has mocked the killing of teenagers in high school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.”
“What could they be thinking — or is thinking too generous a word for what they might be doing?” Ms. Pelosi said. “It is absolutely appalling.”
Ms. Pelosi appeared to have been referring in part to a report last week from Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog group, that said that Ms. Greene had commented approvingly on Facebook in 2018 to a user who asserted that the 2012 school shooting in Newtown in which a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 small children, was staged. “That’s all true,” Ms. Greene replied, according to the report, though the post appears to have been deleted.
Ms. Greene’s penchant for conspiracy theories has created a conundrum for Republican leaders and has privately infuriated many of her colleagues in the rank and file, who are upset by many of her comments as well as the flood of negative press they have drawn.
A spokesman for Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, told Axios this week that newly surfaced Facebook posts written by Ms. Greene and reported by CNN, in which she discussed executing top Democratic politicians, including Ms. Pelosi, were “deeply disturbing.” A spokesman said that Mr. McCarthy planned to “have a conversation” with her about them.