Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to task on Wednesday night for seemingly kowtowing to the most extreme lawmakers in his caucus, explicitly saying McCarthy’s the one who “answers to these QAnon members of Congress, not the other way around.”
In recent days, social media posts have resurfaced from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA)—already known for peddling the unhinged QAnon conspiracy theory—in which she repeatedly expressed support for the execution of prominent Democrats back in 2018 and 2019. Greene has also claimed that mass school shootings in Sandy Hook and Parkland were false flags and posted a video of herself publicly berating and harassing Parkland survivor David Hogg in 2019.
The newly unearthed comments and videos have spurred new calls for Greene—who is only a few weeks into her freshman term—to resign. Following the deadly Capitol insurrection, fellow lawmakers accused her of helping incite the riots with her enthusiastic support of the “Big Lie” that the election was “stolen” from President Donald Trump.
Toward the end of MSNBC host Chris Hayes’ interview with Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday evening, he brought up the fear that Democrats like her felt during and after the storming of the Capitol, noting that one rioter was recently arrested after calling for her assassination.
“How do you understand the nature of the caucus of the Republican Party that you serve with right now in the aftermath of this and the vote they took to overturn the election and this desire to, quote, ‘Turn the page’?” Hayes asked the progressive lawmaker.
Ocasio-Cortez flatly said that while the previous GOP caucus was “one of extreme fealty to Donald Trump,” today there are “legitimate white supremacist sympathizers that sit at the heart and at the core of the Republican caucus.”
At the same time, Ocasio-Cortez said, McCarthy isn’t willing to do anything about it.
“When you see someone like the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy of the Republican Party, respond to white supremacists’ vitriol coming from his own members, not with censure like they did with Rep. Steve King of Iowa, not with being stripped of committees, not with any consequence, you have to wonder who actually has that power,” she said.
“And it increasingly seems, unfortunately, that in the House Republican caucus, Kevin McCarthy answers to these QAnon members of Congress, not the other way around,” the New York lawmaker added.
She then noted that the top Republican has promised to “have a conversation” with Greene about her comments and actions, pointing out that the last member McCarthy pulled aside for a “talking to” was Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) after he called Ocasio-Cortez a “fucking bitch” last year.
“And what Kevin McCarthy did was that he pulled him aside to essentially excuse his behavior, to allow it, and to abet it,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And actually Kevin McCarthy’s lack of holding his own caucus accountable is one major reason why I went to the floor last year to hold Yoho accountable myself.”
The Democratic lawmaker wrapped up her interview by saying McCarthy will probably just give Greene a big pat on the back.
“And so when I hear that Rep. McCarthy is going to pull a member aside who has made white supremacist-sympathizing comments, the thing that I think is, what is he going to tell them? Keep it up?” Ocasio-Cortez wondered aloud. “Because there are no consequences in the Republican caucus for violence. There’s no consequence for racism. No consequence for misogyny. No consequence for insurrection. And no consequence means that they condone it.”
McCarthy, much like Greene, voted to overturn President Joe Biden’s electoral victory hours after an insurrectionist mob stormed the Capitol. And while he briefly said Trump “bears responsibility” for the violence, he has since backed off those remarks—and traveled down to Florida to meet the ex-president this week.