Marjorie Taylor Greene said she regretted some "words of the past" but did not apologise for previously supporting violence against Democrats, among other recent controversies and conspiracies, as she addressed the House on Thursday.
The speech came before a vote on whether to strip her of her committee assignments for recent revelations, which included verbally abusing Parkland School shooting survivor David Hogg, and racist attacks against Democratic members of Congress.
Mr Hogg, among those watching the Republican’s speech, commented: “Marge - you’re not the victim here”. She wore a mask that read: “Free speech”.
Thursday’s vote came after Ms Greene was backed by her Republican colleagues on Wednesday, who refused to remove her from House committees.
The decision angered Democrats and appeared to erase concerns raised by her beliefs and comments on social media before being elected to Congress.
Read the Republican’s speech below:
“I’ve been here for one month and a day and I’ve gotten to know part of my caucas, my Republican colleagues, but not even all of them yet.
“I haven’t got to know any of my Democrat colleagues and I haven’t had to have any conversations with you to tell you who I am, and what I’m about. You only know me by how Media Matters, CNN, MSNBC and the rest of the mainstream media are portraying me.
“What you don’t know about me is that I’m a very proud wife of almost 25 years, that I’m a mother or three children and I consider being a mother the greatest blessing of my life and the greatest thing that I’ll ever achieve.
I’m proudly the first person to graduate college in my family, making my parents very proud. I’m also a very successful business owner, we’ve grown our one company from one state to elevens. I’m a very hard worker. I’ve always paid my taxes, I’ve never been arrested, I’ve never done drugs, but I’ve gotten a few speeding tickets in my day.
“What you need to know about me is, I’m a very regular American. Just like the people I represent in my district, and most people across the country. I never, ever, considered to run for Congress or even get involved in politics. As a matter of fact I wasn't even a political person until I found a candidate I really liked, and his name is Donald J. Trump, when he ran for president.
“To me, he was someone I could relate to, and someone that I enjoyed his plane talk, not the offensive things but just the way he talked normally and I thought ‘finally, maybe this someone that will do something about the things that deeply bother me, like the fact that we’re so deeply in debt, that our country has murdered over 62 million people in the womb. The fact that our borders are open and some of my friends have had their children murdered by legally aliens, or perhaps that we can stop sending our sons and daughters to fight in foreign wars and be used as the world’s police, basically.
“Or maybe that our government will stand up for our American businesses and our American jobs and make the American people and the American taxpayers their focus. These are the things that I care about deeply, so when we elected president Trump, and I started seeing things in the news that didn’t make sense to me, like Russian collusion, which are conspiracy theories also, and have been proven so, these things bothered me deeply, and I realised just watching CNN or Fox News that I may not find the truth.
“And so what I did was I started looking at things on the internet, asking questions, like most people do everyday, use Google, and I stumbled across something - and this was at the end of 2017 - called QAnon. Well, these posts were mainly about this Russian collusion information. A lot of it was some of what I would see on the news at night, and I got very interested in it, so I posted about it on Facebook, I read about it, I talked about it, I asked questions about it and then more information came from it.
“But you see, here’s the problem. Throughout 2018, because I was upset about things and didn’t trust the government, really because the people here weren’t doing the things I thought they should be doing for us, the things I just told you I cared about. And I want you to know, a lot of Americans don’t trust our government, and that’s sad.
"The problem with that is, though, is that I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true and I would ask questions about them and talk about them. And that is absolutely what I regret, because if it weren’t for the Facebook posts and comments that I liked in 2018, I wouldn't be standing here today and you couldn't point a finger or accuse me of anything wrong because I’ve lived a very good that life that I’m proud of and my family’s proud of, my husband’s proud of, my children are proud of, and that’s what my district elected me for.
“So later in 2018, when I started finding misinformation and lies, things that were not true in these QAnon posts, I stopped believing it, and I want to tell you, any source - and I say this to anyone - any source of information that is a mix of truth and a mix of lies is dangerous, no matter what it is saying, what party it is helping, anything or any country it’s about, it’s dangerous.
“And these are the things that happen on the left and the right, and it’s a true problem in our country, so I walked away from those things and I decided I'm going to do what I've done all my life, I’m gonna work hard and try to solve the problems that I’m upset about, so I started getting involved in politics.
“You see, school shootings are absolutely real and every child that is lost to those families mourn it. I understand how terrible it is because when I was 16 years old in eleventh grade, my school was a gun-free school zone, and one of my school mates brought guns to school and took our entire school hostage, and that happened right down the hall from my classroom. I know the fear that David Hogg had that day, I know the fear that these kids have, and this is why, and I say this sincerely with all my heart because I love our kids, every single one of your children, all of our children, I truly believe that children at school should never be left unprotected, I believe they should be just as protected as we were by 30,000 National Guardsmen.
“Our children are our future and our most precious resource. I also want to tell you 9/11 absolutely happened. I remember that day, crying it all day long watching it on the news, and it’s a tragedy for anyone to say it didn’t happen, and so that, I definitely want to tell you, I do not believe that it’s fake.
“I also want to tell you that we’ve got to do better. You see, big media companies can take teeny tiny pieces of words that I’ve said, that you have said, that any of us said, and can, and can portray us into someone that we’re not, and that is wrong.
“Cancel culture is a real thing, very real, and when big tech companies like Twitter you can scroll through and see where someone may have retweeted porn, this is a problem. This is a terrible, terrible thing, but yet when I say that I absolutely believe with all my heart that god’s creation, is that he created them male and female, and that should not be denied.
“When I am censored for saying those types of things, that is wrong. You see, here’s the real situation. I decided to run for Congress because I wanted to help our country, I wanted Americans to have our American dream, I want to protect our freedoms, this is what I ran for Congress on.
“I never once said during my entire campaign, ‘QAnon’. I never once said any of the things that I am being accused of today, during my campaign. I never said any of these things, since I have been elected to Congress. These were words of the past and these things do not represent me, they do not represent my district and they do not represent my values.
“Here’s what I can tell you. I am being grateful for this opportunity and I’ll tell you why. I believe in God with all my heart and I am so grateful to be humbled to be reminded that I am a sinner, and that Jesus died on the cross to forgive me for my sins, and this is something that I absolutely rejoice in today, to tell you all.
“And I think it’s important for all of us to remember, none of us are perfect, none of us are, and none of us can even come close to earning our way into heaven just by our acts and our words, but it’s only through the grace of God.
“And this why I will tell you, as a member of this Congress, the 117th Congress, I am a passionate person, I am a competitor, I am a fighter, I will work with you for good things for the people of this country, but the things I will not stand for is abortion. I think it’s the worst thing this country has committed, and if we’re to say ‘In God We Trust’, how do we murder God’s creation in the womb?
“And one thing I will say to everyone in this body, is that I want to work with all of you for our people. It should be America first, always, always, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
“And if this Congress is to tolerate members that condone riots that have hurt American people, attacked police officers, occupied federal property, burned businesses in cities, but yet wants to condemn me and crucify me in the public square for words that that I said and I regret, a few years ago, then I think we’re in a real big problem, a very big problem.
“What shall do with Americans? Should we stay divided like this? Will we allow the media that is just as guilty as QAnon of presenting truth and lies to divide us? Will we allow ourselves to be addicted to hate and hating one another? I hope not, because that’s not the future I want for my children and its not the future I want for any of your children.
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