The White House and some Democratic lawmakers issued stern condemnations Monday of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s comments that she would have “won” the Jan. 6 Capitol attack if she had planned it with former Trump aide Steve Bannon.
During a dinner hosted by the New York Young Republican Club on Saturday, Greene, R-Ga., protested that her critics had falsely accused her of organizing the Capitol attack and then bragged about how she thinks the riot would have been different if she and Bannon organized it, according to a video clip of her remarks posted on Twitter by a group called Patriot Takes, which describes itself as dedicated to monitoring right-wing extremism on the web.
“I want to tell you something: If Steve Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won, not to mention, it would have been armed,” she said, according to the clip.
Greene faced swift backlash from the White House and Democratic lawmakers over her remarks.
In a statement shared with NBC News, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said Greene’s comments were a “slap in the face” to law enforcement and the families of those who died as a result from the Capitol attack.
“It goes against our fundamental values as a country for a member of Congress to wish that the carnage of January 6th had been even worse, and to boast that she would have succeeded in an armed insurrection against the United States government,” Bates said. “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.”
“All leaders have a responsibility to condemn these dangerous, abhorrent remarks and stand up for our Constitution and the rule of law,” he continued.
Greene pushed back at the White House’s condemnation of her remarks, which she described in a statement as “sarcasm.”
“The White House needs to learn how sarcasm works. My comments were making fun of Joe Biden and the Democrats, who have continuously made me a political target since January 6th,” Greene said, accusing Democrats of smearing her character in the past, which she said has resulted in threats against her.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, whom House Democrats have elected as their leader in the next Congress, said Greene “promoted violence and armed insurrection.”
“When will so-called moderate Republicans like George Santos, Mike Lawler and Anthony D’Esposito denounce her?” Jeffries tweeted Monday, referring to Republicans from New York recently elected to Congress.
Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., decried Greene for reflecting the “opposite of all American values” and criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday. McCarthy previously vowed to restore Greene’s committee assignments after the House voted last year to remove her from the panels in response to violent rhetoric against Democratic lawmakers.
“What we know is that he has no values, he’s just a power hungry, you know, Washington, D.C.-ite that would do anything, including align himself with someone like Marjorie Taylor. And I think that’s a very scary, scary combination for this country,” Gallego said, adding that he “can’t work with insurrectionists” such as Greene.
NBC News reached out to McCarthy’s office for comment.
Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., a progressive, also reacted to Greene’s comments in a quote-tweet of a video with Greene’s comments: “Tell us more…and then what?”
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said that Greene’s comments “disrespected law enforcement and victims’ families.”
“What I want to know is how you would have made the insurrection successful. Would you have hanged Mike Pence? Shot police officers? Attacked Senators with space lasers?” Lieu tweeted.