Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene's history of conspiracy peddling – including 9/11 trutherism, QAnon adherence, and support for claims that the Parkland school shooting was a false flag event – have cost her her committees in the US House.
Ms Greene, who once live streamed herself harassing David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland school shooting, claimed that she was "allowed to believe" the various conspiracy theories and then claimed – in the face of losing her committee assignments – that she no longer holds those beliefs.
In addition to her long history of promoting and supporting such conspiracies, what makes her claims of reformation dubious is that she held those beliefs even after experiencing her own trauma at the hands of a school shooting.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Ms Green has a personal experience with school shootings; during her speech prior to the House's vote to strip her of her committee roles, she said she was present when an armed student took her school hostage in 1990.
Ms Greene appears to be referencing a hostage situation that developed when she was 16 at South Forsyth County High School.
“I understand how terrible it is because when I was 16 years old in 11th grade, my school was a gun-free school zone and one of my schoolmates brought guns to school and took our entire school hostage,” she said. "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.”
Despite knowing that same fear, Ms Greene once followed Mr Hogg and berated him for what she claimed were attacks he was making on the Second Amendment by calling for gun reform.
“David, why are you supporting red-flag laws that attack our Second Amendment rights?” she asked while live-streaming herself following him.
According to a spokeswoman from the high school, Ms Greene was enrolled at the time but was not one of the hostages involved in the situation.
”To our knowledge, she was not in either classroom,” spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
According to reports from the Atlanta Journal Constitution at the time, the culprit of the incident took 40 students hostage. The 17-year-old faced 90 felony counts of kidnapping and and aggravated assault. In 1991, the individual was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty.
The paper reported that the 17-year-old held nine students hostage for five hours and claimed they did not want to hurt anyone, but was trying to die at the hands of the police.
Ms Greene invoked the memory to explain her position on gun control.
“I truly believe that children at school should never be left unprotected. I believe they should be just as protected as we were with 30,000 National Guardsmen,” she said, likely referencing the influx of military personnel to the Capitol in the wake of the Capitol riot. “Our children are our future and they’re our most precious resource."
Ms Greene's invocation of her legitimate past trauma comes at a time when she and her colleagues are attempting to undermine the trauma of one of their political adversaries, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“I was in the chamber, unlike AOC, Representative Ocasio-Cortez, that faked her outrage with another hoax, just another hoax that gets shared everywhere,” The Hill reported Ms Greene saying on Friday, downplaying the Democrat’s trauma while trying to use her own from 30 years ago to defend her recent actions.
The Independent has reached out to Ms Greene for comment.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez livestreamed herself on Instagram and recounted her experiences during the Capitol insurrection, saying she was fearful that she might die.
Conservatives – Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace in particular – have latched onto Ms Ocasio-Cortez's account of the event to claim that she was lying and playing up the drama of the event to garner sympathy and demonise some Republican lawmakers who are considered by some as complicit in the attack.
Ms Mace misrepresented Ms Ocasio-Cortez's story by claiming that her office is "two doors down" from hers and that "no insurrectionists stormed our hallway".
Ms Ocasio-Cortez did not claim insurrections stormed their hallway. She said she was hiding in an office and heard someone outside banging on her door that seemed angry. The individual was a Capitol police officer, but Ms Ocasio-Cortez did not know that in the moment.
Ms Mace said Ms Ocasio-Cortez's account "waters down everyone's trauma".
In response, Ms Ocasio-Cortez claimed Ms Mace was trying to undermine her experience for Fox News "clicks," and cited the congresswoman's tweets from the day of the event to prove she was scared as well.
"Just evacuated my office in Cannon due to a nearby threat. Now we’re seeing protesters assaulting Capitol Police," Ms Mace tweeted the day of the insurrection. "This is wrong. This is not who we are. I’m heartbroken for our nation today."
Ms Mace was among the Republicans who supported Ms Greene when the House voted to strip her of her committee seats.
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