It’s no secret that the relationship between Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert has never been worse. The two U.S. representatives yelled at each other on and off the House floor. Greene recently called Boebert a “little bitch” to her face. And Boebert supported Greene’s removal from the Freedom Caucus.
But, lawmakers told The Daily Beast, the situation between the two is still even worse than most people think.
“A fistfight could break out at any moment,” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) told The Daily Beast.
Burchett, who later clarified that he was serious, said he was enjoying the standoff as a “professional wrestling fan.”
“I am friends with both of them. It’s entertaining to think that a fistfight could break out at any movement. I kind of dig that,” he continued.
Burchett isn’t the only person who thinks the feud could turn even nastier.
Another Republican lawmaker who is close to both Greene and Boebert told The Daily Beast that the situation was a tinderbox.
“You can’t have too many of these rifts for too long,” this lawmaker said.
Another GOP member suggested that one of them would destroy the other—they just didn’t know who would come out on top.
“They will be nailing that coffin shut,” this lawmaker said, “and one of them is still in there kicking and screaming!”
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) compared Greene and Boebert’s battle to that of a “two-way sword.”
“I just think that whatever is there, could be utilized both ways,” he said, adding that “people make decisions that they have to work and live by, and you kind of hate being in their shoes.”
After Greene called Boebert a “little bitch” to her face on the House floor, Greene was summarily booted from the House Freedom Caucus. And while Boebert could have probably helped save Greene from that embarrassment by defending her to the group, she instead chose to agree with fellow Freedom Caucus members, voting for Greene’s dismissal.
That, of course, has only exacerbated the tensions.
Greene was apparently so upset about being kicked out of the Freedom Caucus that she refused to hear the news unless it was done in a public setting—like on the House floor where she could potentially make a scene.
When Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry (R-PA) tried to call Greene to inform her about the decision, she refused to have the conversation and said she’d like to do it in person on the floor, multiple sources told The Daily Beast.
Greene has since fought a phone call and continued to suggest a more public meeting.
But Greene has some reason to be upset as well.
The Freedom Caucus apparently set up the vote to remove Greene quickly, with members only getting word of an “unscheduled meeting” that gave little notice to members, according to a Republican lawmaker.
Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) confirmed that a last-minute meeting was called, with invites lacking details on topics to be discussed during the session.
“We were advised that there was an unscheduled meeting being scheduled, but there was no—I didn’t receive any kind of specific advisement on what was going to be discussed at that meeting,” he told The Daily Beast.
Other Freedom Caucus members were less receptive to questions about the last-minute meeting and whether Greene was given a fair shot at defending herself.
“I’m not interested in that bullshit,” Rep. Ken Buck, another Freedom Caucus member, told The Daily Beast.
“Again, I don’t discuss anything that happens in our meetings,” Rep. Matt Rosendale similarly said.
Asked about the short notice, Higgins—who remains a Greene ally and “friend”—said the Freedom Caucus isn’t an “Article III court,” though he did claim the Freedom Caucus is a body that “represents the purest of constitutional principles.”
Inside the closed-door Freedom Caucus dinner at the Conservative Partnership Institute this past Tuesday night, Higgins urged fellow members to pump the brakes and “think through their decision,” according to a previously mentioned Republican lawmaker.
But unlike Higgins, Rosendale was a leading force pushing behind the scenes for the group to expel Greene, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Rosendale, who is likely to run for U.S. Senate in Montana, was supposedly still steaming over a move Greene pulled on him more than six months ago.
On the House floor in January, Rosendale was one of the 20 lawmakers refusing to back Kevin McCarthy as Speaker. At one point, Greene walked up to Rosendale and handed him her phone, but Rosendale refused to take it.
Reporting and photographers who caught the scene revealed that Trump was on the line, hoping to convince him to support McCarthy. Getting busted for waving away Trump’s call was a bad look for the right-wing congressman—and he didn’t forgive Greene for putting him in that situation.
“Rosendale was pissed about the phone call and was instrumental in her ousting,” said a Trump-aligned consultant who works with several HFC members.
Approached by The Daily Beast outside the Capitol, Rosendale refused to answer questions about his role in Greene’s ouster or the Freedom Caucus’ deliberations more broadly.
“I will tell you that’s false,” he said about being a leading voice against Greene. “That premise is false.”
Around three weeks ago, Greene and Boebert had a spat on the House floor over competing articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden.
“I’ve donated to you. I’ve defended you. But you’ve been nothing but a little bitch to me,” Greene told Boebert, according to a source that spoke to The Daily Beast. “And you copied my articles of impeachment after I asked you to cosponsor them.”
While there remains bad blood between Boebert and Greene, it was within a pre-July 4 recess private Freedom Caucus meeting where Boebert made her move.
After initially seconding a motion to allow Greene to stay in the Freedom Caucus, Boebert later in the meeting—in a subsequent vote—moved to kick out Greene, along with an “overwhelming” group of her fellow Freedom Caucus members, according to a previously mentioned lawmaker familiar with the matter. (The Freedom Caucus typically has a four-fifths majority requirement for such “official positions.”)
There are “qualifications to be a member of the Freedom Caucus in good standing,” a Republican lawmaker said. (Boebert declined to comment on her private Freedom Caucus vote.)
As for Greene, when The Daily Beast asked about Boebert’s vote in support of her ouster, she also didn’t want to talk.
“Dude, do you do anything besides report on complete drama and bullshit?” she asked The Daily Beast. “No, I’m serious.”
But it’s become increasingly clear that Boebert and Greene, once close allies, are now at each other’s throats. And both are powerful enemies.
Although Greene staying in the HFC may have seemed untenable given her public rebukes of a fellow member, the Freedom Caucus has relied on Greene as a fundraiser for the group.
With Greene on the outs, the Freedom Caucus also now has a powerful conservative voice against them.
While the HFC was founded on not allowing showier, less serious conservative voices to join its ranks—like Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Steve King (R-IA)—that thinking has been a thing of the past for years. The Freedom Caucus eventually even let Gohmert join its ranks. (Both members are now gone from Congress.)
By the time Greene and Boebert arrived in Congress just days before the Jan. 6 insurrection, the Freedom Caucus was allowing almost any rambunctious conservative to join. It had, after all, primarily become a pro-Donald Trump group and less of the ideological organization formed to fight for a more open process in Congress.
But with Trump out of office and a GOP majority taking back the House, the Freedom Caucus has reignited its love for an open process and seemed less concerned with being a pro-Trump group. (Ron DeSantis, after all, was a founding member of the Freedom Caucus.)
With Greene’s expulsion, there’s a chance the group continues more in its founding direction.
But there’s also a chance they bend to Trump’s will. While Greene has clearly moved to align herself more with Speaker Kevin McCarthy, it’s also true that Greene has Trump on speed dial. And HFC members mostly remain obsessed with staying in Trump’s good graces.
Meanwhile, Boebert was only narrowly re-elected last November, and she’s running against the same Democrat who came within 600 votes of beating her last time.
The spat with Greene may convince some moderates that Boebert is becoming more serious, but it also may turn off some of her fiercest conservative supporters across the country.
Ultimately, Greene may have a say in the matter. What seems obvious now is that neither Greene nor Boebert wants the other one to have the last laugh.
Sam Brodey and Jake Lahut contributed to this report.