Republican US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was facing calls that she be booted from her party after she spoke at a white supremacist conference on Friday night where the organizer joked that comparing Russian President Vladimir Putin to Nazi Germany dictator Adolf Hitler should be a compliment.
The Georgia congresswoman defended her appearance at the America First Political Action Conference organized by Nicholas J. Fuentes, who has questioned the number of Jews who were killed in the Holocaust and believes that Israel has a malicious influence on US policy.
Arizona Republican congressman Paul Gosar also appeared via pre-recorded video.
Democrats along with Republican National Committee chairperson Ronna McDaniel criticized Taylor Greene.
“White supremacy, neo-Nazism, hate speech and bigotry are disgusting and do not have a home in the Republican Party,” McDaniel said according to a report from USA Today on Saturday.
The Democratic National Committee said in a statement that the Republican party should expel Taylor Greene.
“In any other world, Greene speaking at a white supremacist conference where attendees have defended Vladimir Putin and praised Adolf Hitler would warrant expulsion from the caucus, to say nothing of her advocacy for violence and consistent anti-Semitism,” the DNC said.
The Republican Jewish Coalition said it “condemns in the strongest possible terms” Taylor Greene’s participation in the AFPAC.
“It is appalling and outrageous that a member of Congress would share a platform with an individual who has actively spread antisemitic bile, mocked the Holocaust and promoted dangerous anti-Israel conspiracy theories,” the RJC said in a statement.
“This has absolutely no place in the Republican Party.”
However, Taylor Greene refused to back down and tweeted that “I am not going to play the guilt by association game in which you demand every conservative should justify anything ever said by anyone they’ve ever shared a room with.”
“I’m not going to be drawn into that. I’m only responsible for what I say,” she wrote. “I’m also not going to turn down the opportunity to speak to 1,200 young America First patriots because of a few off-color remarks by another speaker, even if I find those remarks unsavory.”
At the AFPAC meeting, Fuentes said, “Now they’re going on about Vladimir Putin and Russia, and Vladimir Putin is Hitler – and they say that’s not a good thing.”
“I shouldn’t have said that,” he said, and then burst into laughter, drawing approval from the audience.
He also said that “the US government has become the evil empire in the world.”
“Now they’re going on about Vladimir Putin and Russia and Vladimir Putin is Hitler and they say that’s not a good thing. (Smiles) I shouldn’t have said that. (Laughter)”pic.twitter.com/NsCUXbQzb4
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) February 26, 2022
Numerous social media platforms have banned Fuentes for his views.
The AFPAC was organized as an alternative to the more mainstream Conservative Political Action Conference, held the next day in the same city.
Taylor Greene also attended that event, where she told reporters that “Putin is a murderer and he should never have invaded Ukraine.” Former US president Donald Trump was there too, offering praise for “smart Putin” and saying the invasion of Ukraine only happened because of what he falsely claims was a rigged election in the US to oust him from office.
The first-term congresswoman has repeatedly stirred controversy over inflammatory commentary.
On social media, she has voiced support for racist views, unfounded QAnon pro-Trump conspiracy theories such as the lie that the 2020 election was stolen, and calls for violence against Democratic politicians, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.
Last February, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called her embrace of conspiracy theories and “loony lies” a “cancer for the Republican Party.” The Democratic-led House that same month tossed her from her two committee assignments, the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Budget Committee.
In January Twitter said it had permanently banned Taylor Greene’s personal account due to misinformation on COVID-19 policy, but the ban does not affect her official Twitter account, @RepMTG.