WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday denounced House Republican leaders for appointing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., to the committee overseeing education after she has questioned the legitimacy of mass shootings and harassed student survivors.
“What I’m concerned about is the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, who was 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 she has mocked the killing of teenagers in high school, at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference at the Capitol. “What could they be thinking? Or is thinking too generous a word for what they might be doing?”
Pelosi was responding to the decision by GOP leaders to appoint Greene — a freshman member who has previously expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory and called for violence against top Democrats — to the House Education and Labor Committee.
The speaker called the decision by her Republican counterparts “absolutely appalling” and “really beyond the pale.”
“I think that the focus has to be on the Republican leadership of this House of Representatives for the disregard they have for the death of those children,” she said. “You’re just going to have to ask them why they thought that that raised itself to the level of something appropriate to do in the Congress of the United States.”
Her comments come amid heightened anxiety on Capitol Hill after the Jan. 6 attack on the building by pro-Trump rioters. Pelosi said that she plans to meet with retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré on Thursday to discuss the review he’s conducting of security on the Hill and for members of Congress.
Greene is facing a backlash after a CNN review of her Facebook page showed that in recent years she had liked posts calling for violence against prominent Democrats, including Pelosi, while promoting extremist conspiracy theories. The posts were dated 2018 and 2019, before Greene’s run for office. NBC News hasn’t independently verified the posts, which have been deleted.
Greene has also repeatedly come under fire for her past support of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
They weren’t the only posts that have recently landed Greene in hot water. On Wednesday, a video she posted to YouTube this month featuring her berating the gun control activist David Hogg, a survivor of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, circulated online.
In it, she follows and records Hogg in Washington near the Capitol, calling him a “coward” for refusing to debate her over gun policies. It’s not clear when the video was recorded; Greene has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of mass shootings. In one such video, she suggested that the mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017 may have been staged by gun control activists.
Rebecca Shabad is a congressional reporter for NBC News, based in Washington.