Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Kevin McCarthy reportedly said he would “never leave” Marjorie Taylor Greene, the far-right conspiracy theorist, Republican congressman from Georgia, after she supported him through a right-wing rebellion and 15 rounds of voting for the position of speaker of the US House.
Related: Far-right Republicans Greene and Gosar returned to House committees
“I will never leave that woman,” McCarthy told a friend, according to the New York Times. “I will always take care of her.”
Greene was elected to Congress in 2020 and quickly became a figurehead of the pro-Trump far right, especially after the Democrats then in charge of the House kicked her out of committees, citing her racist statements and encouragement of violence against political opponents. Eleven Republicans supported the move.
Greene also expressed support for QAnon, the conspiracy theory that argues that Democratic leaders are pederastic cannibals; spoke at a meeting of white supremacists; criticized and violated Covid-19 public health measures; and, among countless other controversies, suggested that Jewish-controlled “space solar generators” were responsible for destructive wildfires.
Recently, Greene said that if she had led Trump supporters attacking Congress on Jan. 6, 2021 — an attempt to undo Joe Biden’s election victory now linked to nine deaths and more than 900 indictments — “we would have won”.
In comments she later claimed were made in jest, Greene also said the protesters “would have been armed”.
In a detailed investigation of the emerging bond between McCarthy and Greene, the Times said the speaker’s comments about the congressman’s support were directed to a friend who wished to remain anonymous.
But both politicians spoke to the papers.
“If you’re going to fight, you want Marjorie in your foxhole,” McCarthy said. “If she’s looking for a fight, she’ll fight until the fight is over. She reminds me of my high school friends, that we will stick together all the time.
Greene said that by sticking to his agenda as speaker, McCarthy would “easily vindicate me and prove that I had moved the conference to the right during my first two years when I served in the minority with no committees”.
Greene told the newspaper that McCarthy’s defense of her when Democrats removed her from her committee duties in February 2021 “had a big impact on me.”
Nearly two years later, she and McCarthy interacted regularly and closely during the 15-vote speaker marathon, a process captured by C-Span cameras and watched by a national audience.
Last week, McCarthy assigned Greene to the homeland security and oversight committees, both of which will become the main engines of Republican attacks on the Biden administration over the next two years.
Greene told The Times: “People need to understand that I am not the only one who deserves credit. It is the will and voice of our base that was heard, and Kevin listened to them. I was little more than a vehicle for much of the time.”