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House GOP leader condemns lawmaker for likening mask order to Nazi yellow star

Marjorie Taylor Greene doubles down on the comparison, which Kevin McCarthy calls ‘appalling’; but he also accuses Democrats of ignoring antisemitism in their own party

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia wears a "Stop the Steal" mask while speaking with fellow first-term Republican members of Congress, on the steps of the US Capitol in Washington, January 4, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP)
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia wears a "Stop the Steal" mask while speaking with fellow first-term Republican members of Congress, on the steps of the US Capitol in Washington, January 4, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

WASHINGTON — Controversial US Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene doubled down Tuesday on equating mask mandates with Nazis forcing Jews to wear yellow stars in war-era Germany, earning a stern rebuke from Republican leadership.

Greene, a freshman Republican from Georgia, tweeted about a business making its employees who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus wear a vaccination logo on their name badge.

“Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s [sic] forced Jewish people to wear a gold star,” Greene wrote.

“Vaccine passports & mask mandates create discrimination against unvaxxed people who trust their immune systems to a virus that is 99% survivable.”

Greene is a fierce defender of former US president Donald Trump and promotes his baseless claim that Democrats stole the 2020 presidential election.

Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia speaks as then US President Donald Trump listens at a campaign rally in support of Republican Senate candidates in Dalton, Georgia, January 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Her five months in Congress have been repeatedly marked by controversy and rising frustration within her party over her extreme remarks.

But her recent comments linking mask rules to the Holocaust outraged some in her party, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy who denounced her comments — but also accused Democrats of antisemitism.

“Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling,” McCarthy said in a statement.

“Let me be clear: the House Republican Conference condemns this language,” he added.

With increased violence against Jews in the United States in recent weeks, “antisemitism is on the rise in the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” McCarthy said.

“Americans must stand together to defeat antisemitism and any attempt to diminish the history of the Holocaust.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks with reporters on May 19, 2021 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP)

Jeff Miller, a major Republican donor who is close to McCarthy, offered to give Greene a tour of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, where he is a member of the commission.

“WTF is wrong with you?” tweeted Miller, who is also a board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “I think you need to pay a visit to the US Holocaust Museum. I’d be happy to arrange. Then maybe going forward you wouldn’t make anymore disgusting, ignorant and offensive tweets. If I’m wrong and you’re not ignorant about Holocaust … then you are disgusting.”

Also weighing in was Matt Brooks, the Republican Jewish Coalition’s director, whose group joined a rare primary challenge to Greene last summer.

“Please educate yourself so that you can realize how absolutely wrong and inappropriate it is to compare proof of vaccination with the 6 million Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis,” Brooks said on Twitter. “You’re an embarrassment to yourself and the GOP.”

Illustrative: A man protests coronavirus restrictions with a yellow star and a photo of Anne Frank outside the Holocaust memorial in Berlin. (@ZSKberlin/Twitter via JTA)

The controversy began Sunday when Greene, speaking to a conservative podcast, compared Pelosi’s decision to maintain mask rules for lawmakers on the House floor to Nazi actions against Jews.

“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 said.

“This is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”

Greene, who insisted she said nothing wrong, received fierce criticism from both sides of the political aisle, with fellow House Republican Liz Cheney calling the comments “evil lunacy.”

Several Democrats have said Greene is unfit to serve in Congress.

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