Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday apologized for her “offensive” comments comparing Capitol Hill mask-wearing rules to the Holocaust after visiting the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
“There are words that I have said, remarks that I’ve made that I know are offensive, and for that I’d like to apologize,” the Georgia Republican said Monday, adding that she had taken a lesson from her father, who died in April, about owning up to mistakes.
“So I should own it,” she said. “I made a mistake.”
The apology – a dramatic shift in tone that comes in the face of a censure resolution in the House – was offered weeks after Greene compared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to continue requiring members of the House to wear masks on the chamber floor as a Covid-19 precaution to steps the Nazis took to control the Jewish population during the Holocaust.
“You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany,” Greene had said during a May interview on a conservative podcast. “And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”
Following criticism from her Republican colleagues, Greene had initially issued a characteristically defiant and extended Twitter thread in which she repeated her attacks on Democrats and the media.
But the comments followed her back to Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, where some voters expressed dismay to CNN about her comparison. And earlier Monday, Rep. Brad Schneider, a Democrat from Illinois, announced plans to introduce a censure resolution over the comments.
“When @RepMTG repeatedly compared the US Covid-response to Hitler and the Holocaust, she dishonored the millions of lives lost in WWII and the Shoah,” Schneider tweeted. “She has forgotten America’s fight against the Nazi menace.”
While Greene on Monday addressed Holocaust deniers – stating that “it happened” and “not just to Jewish people. Black people. Christians” – she still refused to walk back her comments comparing the Democratic Party to the National Socialist Party.
The House had voted in February to remove Greene from her committee assignments after reports of her comments surfaced showing her encouragement of political violence, suggesting that the Parkland, Florida, school shooting was a “false flag” operation and a conspiratorial claim that a space laser controlled by Jewish financiers had started a California wildfire in 2018.
She has tried to make a name for herself being an outsider and a rabble-rouser and routinely uses parliamentary procedures to slow down House floor business, much to the dismay of her colleagues.
But the tactics have helped her win support on the far right. In April, her campaign announced she had raised $3.2 million in the first three months in office – an astonishing amount for a freshman member.