Marjorie Taylor Greene Backs Off Extremist America First Caucus After Backlash
Following an onslaught of attacks, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has backed away from launching the extremist America First Caucus, at least for now.
Though the lawmaker vowed Saturday in a tweet to push the “America First agenda with my congressional colleagues,” she’s not planning to launch the caucus “at this time,” a spokesperson for Greene told Forbes.
An incendiary caucus platform statement that triggered an uproar was part of a “planning proposal and nothing was agreed to or approved,” spokesperson Nick Dyer told CNN. “The Congresswoman wants to make clear that she is not launching anything.”
The previous day, however, Dyer had emailed the network to “be on the lookout for the release of the America First Caucus platform.”
The document, first circulated Friday and shredded as racist, said the caucus would battle to promote “uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions,” and, bizarrely, infrastructure that “reflects the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture.”
It warned that “mass immigration” poses a threat to “the long-term existential future of America as a unique country with a unique culture and a unique identity.”
The phrase “America First” was a credo of the Ku Klux Klan, and frequently included in Donald Trump’s presidential speeches.
The platform, initially reported by the congressional newsletter Punchbowl News, was immediately slammed by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who called it a “nativist dog whistle.” Even Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) of the hard right GOP Freedom Caucus bashed its positions as “hatefulness.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), an immigrant who served in the American military, blasted in a tweet: “Take your nativist crap and shove it.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said that any caucus members should be stripped of committee appointments.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) immediately agreed to join.
Greene said Saturday that the controversial document was a “staff-level draft proposal” from an unidentified “outside group” that she hadn’t yet read. She also claimed, however, that it had been “taken out of context” by “the scum and liars in the media,” which would indicate Greene had read it.
She accused the media of creating “false narratives,” and focusing on race to “divide the American people with hate through identity politics.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) told Forbes on Friday that the America First Caucus was already an actual group that Greene had founded. He said he was “looking” at joining – though he hadn’t read the platform. He insisted it’s “not supposed to be about race at all.”
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who was reportedly planning the group with Greene, claimed in a statement to have first learned of the platform “by reading about it in the news yesterday.” He added: “Let me be perfectly clear, I did not author this paper.”
Gosar said he would continue to work on “America First issues” in the House Freedom Caucus.
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