Two reporters for the Washington Post witnessed Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a fascist acolyte of former President Donald Trump, accosting New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez outside the House of Representatives late Wednesday afternoon.
Greene called out to Ocasio-Cortez, who tried to ignore her, and then began denouncing her as a supporter of terrorism, for her support of Black Lives Matter, and claiming falsely she was linked to “antifa,” the loose grouping of anti-fascist activists that has assumed monumental proportions in right-wing mythology.
The charge of supporting “terrorism” amounts to a death threat, reinforced by the fact that Greene waged her 2020 congressional campaign using commercials showing her armed with an assault rifle and threatening AOC and two other “left” Democratic congresswomen, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
Greene has also previously “liked” comments on Facebook supporting the assassination of Democratic Party politicians, shared and promoted QAnon and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and continues to back Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
The Post reported that the altercation began with Greene shouting “Hey Alexandria” twice. After Ocasio-Cortez did not respond, Greene quickened her pace and began to berate Ocasio-Cortez, inquiring about her alleged support of antifa and Black Lives Matter while accusing the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member of failing to defend her “radical socialist” perspective by agreeing to a debate with Greene.
“You don’t care about the American people,” Greene yelled, the Post reported. “Why do you support terrorists and antifa?”
The Post reported that Ocasio-Cortez did not stop to respond to Greene, writing that she only turned, “around once” and threw her “hands in the air in an exasperated motion.” After Ocasio-Cortez walked away, Greene turned to a small group of reporters and called Ocasio-Cortez a “coward” and “pathetic.”
“She’s a chicken, she doesn’t want to debate the Green New Deal. These members are cowards. They need to defend their legislation to the people. That’s pathetic.”
Audio clips of the incident obtained by the Capitol Hill press pool and provided to CNN confirmed portions of the comments reported by the Post.
In a statement to the Post, Ocasio-Cortez spokeswoman Lauren Hitt wrote: “Representative Greene tried to begin an argument with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and when Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tried to walk away, Congresswoman Greene began screaming and called Rep. Ocasio-Cortez a terrorist sympathizer. We hope leadership and the Sergeant at Arms will take real steps to make Congress a safe, civil place for all Members and staff—especially as many offices are discussing reopening. One Member has already been forced to relocate her office due to Congresswoman Greene’s attacks.”
In late January, freshman Democratic Representative Cori Bush of St. Louis, also a DSA member, announced that she had decided to move her congressional office away from Greene’s “for the safety of my team.” Greene responded by attacking Bush on Twitter as “the leader of the St. Louis Black Lives Matter terrorist mob who trespassed into a gated neighborhood to threaten the lives of the McCloskey’s.”
Last summer, Mark and Patricia McCloskey became heroes of the far-right and were invited to speak at the 2020 Republican National Convention after photos went viral of the couple pointing weapons at peaceful anti-police-violence protesters who walked past their mansion.
Greene continued to attack Ocasio-Cortez on social media on Thursday, calling her a “fraud and a hypocrite” for refusing to debate the fascist congresswoman, who has previously shared videos promoting the fascist “Great Replacement Theory,” which alleges that “Zionist supremacists” are promoting Muslim immigration to Europe in a scheme to outbreed white people.
Solidarizing herself with the ethnic cleansing currently underway in Gaza, Greene falsely accused Ocasio-Cortez of supporting Hamas and demanded that she be expelled along with other left-talking members of the Democratic Party who have mildly criticized Israel’s ongoing massacre in Gaza.
Appealing to racists, fascists and Islamophobes, Greene tweeted a hashtag rebranding Ocasio-Cortez, Talib, Omar and Vice President Kamala Harris as members of the “#JihadSquad.”
Speaking on Thursday about the incident, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi characterized Greene’s conduct as “verbal assault” and said it was “so beyond the pale” that it should be investigated by the House Ethics Committee.
“This is beneath the dignity of a person serving in the Congress of the United States and is a cause for trauma and fear among members, especially on the heels of an insurrection in which the minority in the committee yesterday denied ever happened.”
While the Socialist Equality Party has numerous and deep political differences with Ocasio-Cortez and the Democratic Socialists of America, we condemn the violent threats against her and defend their democratic right to conduct political work without threats and attacks from the fascist right.
In light of the January 6 fascist coup attempt, directed by Trump with the support of the majority of the Republican Party and sections of the police, military and intelligence agencies, Greene’s accusations against Ocasio-Cortez of “terrorist” sympathies should be understood as a deadly threat to all those holding left-wing and socialist views.