You could be forgiven if watching Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) testimony on Friday reminded you of another sweating Republican from long ago. No, not the orange president. The president who actually faced consequences for breaking the law.
It was sweaty Richard Nixon who infamously memorialized “I don’t recall,” even when faced with the transcript of a tape-recorded Oval Office discussion capturing him ordering the destruction of documents.
From NPR’s coverage of then newly released Nixon testimony in 2011:
Indeed, his memory before the grand jury is nil — a fact remarked upon by historian Stanley Kutler, who sued to get the transcript released. Kutler says that he would be rich if he had $10 for every “I don’t recall” uttered by the former president. To cite just one example, Nixon, faced with the transcript of a tape-recorded Oval Office conversation in which he ordered documents destroyed, says, “The references to destruction are mystifying to me. I can’t recall directing that they be destroyed.”
Today Greene played the same game, claiming to not recall things that happened just a year ago and much of which she herself captured on tape and shared with the world:
Greene was asked, “Ms. Greene, did you advocate for President Trump to impose martial law as a way to remain in power?”
She answered, “ I don’t recall.”
Greene was asked if she remembered, “So you are not denying you did it, you just don’t remember?”
Greene said, “I don’t remember.”
I think it’s safe to say most would recall suggesting martial law as an elected lawmaker, who vowed to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Anyone who can’t recall such a thing no doubt has challenges that preclude them from upholding the Constitution.
Where has the brush, loud, Marge gone? Can anyone find the Georgia Republican? Greene is missing in action when it comes to being actually questioned about just a smattering of her previously proudly (one assumes) shared rhetoric.
This poor Republican lawmaker cannot even recall what she herself tweeted in January of 2021, days before the terrorist attack on our Capitol:
Q: I’m looking at the — yes, this top half. Miss Greene, this is a tweet that you sent out on January 2nd, 2021, correct?
Greene: I’m not sure.
Q: Okay. You don’t recall this?
Greene: I don’t recall tweeting that, no.
As Greene changed her 1/6 story, the Georgia Republican couldn’t even recall people she’s met:
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) April 22, 2022
A few refreshers:
Here’s Marge telling people to prevent the peaceful transfer of power on January 6th:
Video is not her friend… pic.twitter.com/cXUikyiehX
— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) April 21, 2022
Here’s another (kindly sent to me by a reader), in which Greene tells her supporters: “All of us together, when we rise up, we can end all of this. We can end it! We can do it peacefully, we can… I hope it doesn’t have to be the other way. But we should feel like we will if we have to.
And then there’s that time soon after the terrorist attack, where her “memory” seemed to be working well enough to pretend to recall exactly what happened so she could falsely blame Democrats for the attack.
Greene’s Twitter account has been suspended, this is from a CNN article:
Greene condemned the violence at the Capitol and falsely accused “Antifa/BLM terrorism” and Democratic politicians of stoking the insurrection.
“I fully condemn ALL violence. The Antifa/BLM terrorism funded on ActBlue rests with Democrat accomplices like @CoriBush @Ilhan @KamalaHarris @AOC @timkaine & many more… Those who stoke insurrection & spread conspiracies have blood on their hands. They must be expelled,” she tweeted.
This is the same Ms Greene who mocked murdered children, prompting Speaker Pelosi at the end of January, 2021 to point out that not only was Republican leadership ignoring her behavior, but they appointed her to the education committee after she mocked the murder of the little kids at Sandy Hook and more: “What I’m concerned about is the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives who are willing to overlook, ignore those statements. Assigning her to the education committee when she has mocked the killing of little children at Sandy Hook Elementary School? When has she mocked the killing of teenagers in high school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School? What could they be thinking? Or is thinking too generous a word for what they might be doing?”
(We haven’t time to touch upon the extraordinary lack of integrity Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has displayed over the 1/6 terrorist attack and his impotence regarding his caucus of lawbreaking juveniles.)
Greene refused to mask so often she was fined her entire salary. That, too, was a rule that didn’t apply to her in her mind.
When all we have is video tape and reality, should we bother with context? Does it matter what kind of public persona Greene is cashing in on? If, say, she had a history of violent rhetoric, would her hazy memory look even more suspect?
Because Greene repeatedly supported executing prominent politicians before she was elected.
There’s the Facebook photo (since removed by Facebook) Greene posted as a Congressional candidate, which was an “image of herself holding a gun alongside images of Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib and encouraged going on the ‘offense against these socialists.’”
“We need strong conservative Christians to go on the offense against these socialists who want to rip our country apart,” her post’s caption read.
Huh. What could go wrong. Nothing wrong with a little gun cosplay pointed at individuals you are vilifying with Islamaphobia, bigotry and a dash of deeply marinated Q-Anon conspiracies.
Greene supported social media posts advocating violence against the FBI, shooting Speaker Pelosi in the head, and hanging the former President Barack Obama.
Ms. Greene is a delicate flower! Who can imagine such a person saying the things she is saying in the videos above, which show her egging supporters on to violence in response to what has been dubbed the most secure election in our history. It asks us to conclude that someone who wants to shoot and hang Democrats might have actually said other inciting words. Huh.
And Greene didn’t choose to put a lid on her Palinesque lust for violence when she got elected.
There’s that time she responded “Exactly” to a supporter who suggested locking up Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the “White House” (Ms. Greene seems to attract the easily manipulated and misled, as Speaker Pelosi doesn’t work in the White House).
In the video said to have been shot on January 25, during a town hall, this same supporter replied that he wouldn’t come to work with Greene because they wouldn’t let him bring dynamite. Ms. Greene was unable to summon the courage to tell her audience that blowing up the Capitol wasn’t okay, nor could she bring herself to publicly condemn violence.
A man at Marjorie Taylor Greene’s town hall meeting wishes he could bring dynamite to the her job at the US Capitol Building.
MTG just laughs it off. pic.twitter.com/cKVLidzBo8
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) February 2, 2022
Transcript: 48-second clip captured the exchange with a man who shouted “what you ought to do is build a wall back around the White House and lock [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi in.”
Greene laughed before replying “exactly.”
The man is then heard saying “that would solve our problems, to which the Greene replies “exactly, I agree,” and jokingly suggesting audience members “come to work with me next week. I think they should listen to you guys.”
The man responds: “I don’t want to go up there, they won’t let me bring dynamite.” Greene again laughs, then quickly moves to another question.
Like our Ms. Greene, Nixon was “hazy” on details. Greene also brazenly and ever-so-Dick-like contradicted evidence, such as video and social media posts she shared.
“For instance, there is a tape-recorded conversation Nixon had with a top aid on how to hide the hush money that was being raised to give to the men who were caught in the break-in and bugging operation at the Democratic National Committee headquarters . The transcript records Nixon saying, ‘I wouldn’t want to suggest… any subordination (sic) of perjury, but on that one I would be very damn hazy.’”
The hazy memory was a deliberate attempt to mislead in Nixon’s case.
It is impossible to fathom that Greene is telling the truth when she claims not to recall things she said and wrote. It’s also so in character with how Greene presents herself to her supporters as to beg the question: is there any evidence that Greene has upheld the Constitution in this case? Is there any suggestion of reason, lawfulness, civility, and a comprehension of a law that applies to her? Where is the reasonable doubt that this person didn’t say and do what she is on tape and all over social media saying and doing.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more .
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.