Marjorie Taylor Greene joined a growing list of right-wing House members who have spread a false rumour that the Uvalde shooter was transgender in the wake of the horrific shooting that left nearly two dozen dead in Texas last week.
On Saturday Georgia congresswoman began broadcasting live shortly before 9.30pm, and told her followers in a broadcast titled “something doesn’t add up” that the Uvalde shooter “had a lot of mental issues going on, as was shown with him wearing eyeliner, cross-dressing, a lot of his language, being a loner”.
There’s no actual established evidence to suggest that the suspect in the Uvalde shooting, Salvador Ramos, was transgender or engaged in crossdressing for any reason; that rumor appears to have emerged out of a campaign that began on 4chan falsely blaming a transgender woman for the massacre, despite her not even living in Texas, due to a mild resemblance to the 18-year-old suspect.
The Independent has reached out to the congresswoman’s office to inquire about where she first heard the now-debunked rumour.
Ms Greene is far from alone in spreading this false rumour: conservative activist Candace Owens, as well as Ms Greene fellow House members Paul Gosar and Pete Sessions have both spread versions of the budding conspiracy in statements on Twitter and in interviews.
But Ms Greene’s Facebook Live broadcast on Saturday took the misinformation a step further, and went on to claim without evidence (even Ms Greene admitted in the video that she could not verify the information) that Mr Ramos was present in the same Discord server as Payton Gendron, the teen accused of carrying out a white supremacist massacre at a supermarket in a majority black neighborhood in Buffalo. That claim has not been verified by a single law enforcement agency or news organisation, and it’s unclear where the congresswoman first heard it.
She would go on to weave the misinformation further, claiming that she had heard an unknown third person was “grooming” both young men into carrying out mass shootings, using a favourite term among conservatives to elicit suggestions of pedophilia that they have used to smear LGBT persons. Then, she suggested that this supposed third-party “groomer” was a former FBI agent.
“Again, we’re still trying to find out if this is true, this person whoever they were, was giving them information about guns...that would be very concerning, and it has been said that this person was a former FBI agent,” she says in the broadcast.
The congresswoman’s statements are a startling example of how quickly misinformation now spreads on the right after mass shootings or other tragedies, and how quickly and easily these conspiracies now find their way into the halls of Congress.
Ms Greene is no stranger to controversy and remains stripped of her committee memberships thanks to past remarks she made that were seen as encouraging violence against Democrats including Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House.
Republican leaders have suggested that they are open to restoring her memberships on committees should the GOP take the chamber in the fall, and Ms Greene is known to still enjoy a working relationship with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy despite her history of spreading outlandish conspiracies and false claims about her political enemies.
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