US House votes to oust Republican who spread conspiracy theories from committee duties

5 February 2021, 14:11 | Updated: 5 February 2021, 14:13

Marjorie Taylor Greene says she no longer believes QAnon conspiracy theories.
Marjorie Taylor Greene says she no longer believes QAnon conspiracy theories. Picture: PA

By Harriet Whitehead

Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene has been removed from several key posts after spreading conspiracy theories about 9/11 and Covid-19.

The House of Representatives voted to remove Ms Greene after she was accused of spreading hateful and false theories.

Most of Greene's own party voted against the Democratic move on Thursday, but found themselves in the minority as 11 Republicans joined the Democrats to pass the motion by 230-199.

None of her colleagues offered an explanation of her social media posts, but Ms Greene took the floor on her own behalf. She wore a dark mask adorned with the words "free speech".

Back-peddling on past social media posts, she said she believes the 9/11 attacks and mass school shootings were real and no longer believes QAnon conspiracy theories, which include lies about Democratic-run paedophile rings.

"These were words of the past. These things do not represent me," she said.

The Republican did not explicitly apologise for online remarks she has made about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi being assassinated or the possibility of Jewish-controlled space rays causing wildfires.

Ms Greene, a vocal Trump ally, then went on to blame news organisations, who "can take teeny, tiny pieces of words that I've said, that you have said, any of us, and can portray us as someone that we're not", she said.

In 2019, she heckled a teenage survivor of the Parkland school shooting and called him "a coward" and had claimed that the 2018 midterm elections ushered in "an Islamic invasion of our government"

The representative, elected in November to represent a district in the southern state of Georgia, cannot take up her place on the education and budget committees.

Ahead of the vote, Ms Pelosi said she was "profoundly concerned" by Republicans accepting "an extreme conspiracy theorist".

Chuy Garcia, of Illinois, said Mrs Greene's floor speech had come across as "premeditated".

"I did not hear remorse and I didn't hear an apology," Mr Garcia said. "It's all about spin and I think she'll probably try to raise a lot of money from it. I think it's disgraceful."

Jim Jordan of Ohio told the floor: "So who's next? Who will the cancel culture attack next?"