CNN is not letting Marjorie Taylor Greene get away with her latest controversial statements over the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
During a speech to the New York Republicans Club Saturday night, Greene said that if she and former Donald Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon had been in chrage of organizing the Jan 6. insurrection, the violent crowd would’ve been armed and would have “ won.”
Greene mockingly made these comments as a response to claims that she and Bannon had been involved in planning the riot.
“Then Jan. 6 happened. And next thing you know, I organized the whole thing, along with Steve Bannon here. And I will tell you something, if Steve Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won. Not to mention, it would’ve been armed,” Greene told the audience, per footage online. The comments drew a mixed response of laughter, applause and shock.
She continued: “See, that’s the whole joke, isn’t it. They say that everything was planned and I’m like, are you kidding me? A bunch of conservatives, second amendment supporters, went in the Capitol without guns, and they think that we organized that?”
Don Lemon was quick to point out her hypocrisy on “CNN This Morning” Monday, saying that the Georgia representative was singing a different tune while in the Capitol that day. Pulling up the messages she sent to the former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows during the attack, Lemon highlighted how Greene pleaded, “Please tell the President to calm people. This isn’t the way to solve anything.”
“Publicly, of course, a different tune,” Lemon said, referring to the fact that Greene had Meadows stage a coup just a week and a half later, so that Trump could stay in power.
“In our private chat with only Members, several are saying the only way to save our Republic is for Trump to call for [Martial] law,” Greene wrote to Meadows. “They stole this election. We all know. They will destroy our country next. Please tell him to declassify as much as possible so we can go after Biden and anyone else!”
In a wider panel discussion on “CNN This Morning,” CNN political commentator John Avlon responded to Saturday’s video, saying that Greene was “playing to the crowd.”
“Without accountability, failed insurrections are just practice,” Avlon explained. “[Greene’s] Saying that they would have succeeded and they would’ve come armed. That’s a statement with real weight if you’re a member of Congress. That’s an endorsement of violent sedition.
CNN political commentator Errol Lewis pointed out that it would’ve been illegal to bring weapons into the district, a fact that Greene surely knows.
“In the name of being cute in front of the donors, she could talk herself into a grand jury,” Lewis said. “This is not stuff to take lightly. This is a country that’s on the edge in a lot of ways. Ifa [Greene] really means this, she should say it under oath. I’d love to hear it.”
The panelists discussed what this incident means for Kevin McCarthy, as he fights to be Speaker of the House.
“The central problem for American politics … is what to do about these kinds of extremists,” Lewis said. “Not just the statements, but the actions. The undermining of institutions, the undermining of elections and faith in those elections. If he can figure that out, he will have a very successful speakership. I don’t know that he can — I don’t know that he can contain [Greene] … He’s going to have to decide who gets the gavel.”
CNN isn’t the only news network, of course, to fire back at Greene’s violent rhetoric.
White House spokesman Andrew Bates said Monday that Greene’s comments “[go] against our fundamental values as a country for a Member of Congress to wish that the carnage of January 6th had been even worse, and to boast that she would have succeeded in an armed insurrection against the United States government.”
“This violent rhetoric is a slap in the face to the Capitol Police, the DC Metropolitan Police, the National Guard, and the families who lost loved ones as a result of the attack on the Capitol,” he added. “All leaders have a responsibility to condemn these dangerous, abhorrent remarks and stand up for our Constitution and the rule of law.”