FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Video surfaced Wednesday showing U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican QAnon promoter, following David Hogg near the U.S. Capitol, harassing him and trying to goad him into responding.
Hogg became a gun control activist after the Feb. 14, 2018, massacre that killed 17 people and wounded 17 others at his school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Greene, a Republican, was elected in November to a Georgia congressional seat. She’s promoted the QAnon conspiracy, and people combing through her social media history have found bizarre utterances from her past, including her assertion that the Stoneman Douglas massacre was a “false flag” operation, something that is either faked or in which an attacker is pretending to be someone else. Greene also liked a Facebook comment calling for “a bullet to the head” of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The video of Greene going after Hogg was highlighted Wednesday on Twitter by Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was one of the 17 people killed at the school. Guttenberg also has become a prominent activist against gun violence in the aftermath of his daughter’s murder. The original video, posted on Greene’s YouTube page, is dated Jan 21, 2020.
The video shows both of them in Washington, were they’d been separately making their cases on gun-related issues. She complained that he was able to secure appointments with U.S. senators, but she wasn’t able to get in to see any.
Greene trails Hogg, making comments and asking him questions as he walks down a sidewalk, demanding to know how he managed to see elected officials. “How’d you do that? How did you get major press coverage on this issue and how did you get kids? Why do you use kids, why kids?”
Hogg ignored Greene’s taunts, prompting her to claim he can’t defend his views because he won’t engage her while she’s chasing him. She also labeled him a “coward” for not responding to her bait.
On Wednesday, he tweeted about the video. “It’s so frustrating that we have people like @mtgreenee in Congress that would rather spread conspiracies about mass shootings than confront the reality people are dying everyday from gun violence. I just want to do the work and help end gun violence,” Hogg wrote, adding, “You think we want to be doing this? @mtgreenee No — I’d much rather be able to be a college student but I & others can’t & you know why? Bc corrupt politicians like you have made it so it’s on the survivors of Gun violence to end gun violence bc you can’t do your damn job.”
With Hogg not engaging with Greene, the audio is entirely her talking.
“He has nothing to say because there really isn’t anything to say you guys. He has nothing to say because he’s paid to do this,” she said, complaining that he got to speak with senators and was covered by the news media while she didn’t get to talk to any senators and didn’t get any media coverage. “I had zero. Guess what, I’m a gun owner. I’m an American citizen and I have nothing. But this guy with his George Soros funding and his major liberal funding has got everything. I want you to think about that that’s where we are and he’s a coward he can’t say one word.”
Part of Hogg’s response on Wednesday: “After surviving gun violence this is just 1/10 of 1% of the harassment advocates for gun control have to deal with,” Hogg wrote. “Everyday we are forced to act and fight through all our trauma to fight for those that can’t because they were killed due to people like you refusing to do your job and protect kids not guns.”
Greene demands to know why Hogg is supporting so-called “red flag” gun laws. Red-flag laws, formally known as “extreme risk protection orders,” allow the government to seize firearms of people deemed dangerous to themselves or others.
Red-flag laws have widespread support among Democrats and Republicans; after the Stoneman Douglas massacre, Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature and Republican governor enacted a red-flag law in the state.
One of the comments Greene directs at Hogg is a claim that he is being financed by the liberal billionaire Soros. Conspiracy theorists on the right have for years been advancing the idea that Soros is behind just about everything they don’t like. The Soros conspiracy notion is especially popular among anti-Semites.
Hogg ridiculed her assertion that he’s getting financial support from Soros. “For the 8 millionth time Could someone PLEASE tell me where the ‘millions’ I’ve been ‘paid’ by Soros is? I’d love to have the rest of college and if I go grad or law school paid for, a nice place for my parents and therapy paid for the rest of my life,”he said, adding, “I’ve never gotten a dime from Soros.”
Hogg, one of the founders of the gun-control advocacy organization March for Our Lives founded after the massacre, didn’t respond to a text message Wednesday, but posted extensive comments on Twitter. He expressed frustration that President Joe Biden hasn’t publicly addressed gun violence prevention during his first week in office.
Guttenberg also addressed Greene on Twitter, asking, “is this you harassing @davidhogg111 weeks after the Parkland shooting, that my daughter was killed in & he was in? Calling him a coward for ignoring your insanity. I will answer all of your questions in person. Get ready to record again.”
QAnon, which Greene has promoted, is a conspiracy theory that Trump was leading a fight against Satan-worshiping pedophiles and cannibals, whose leaders supposedly include Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Pope Francis.
In 2018 and 2019, Greene indicated support for executing Pelosi and other prominent Democratic politicians, CNN reported Tuesday. She liked a Facebook comment that said “a bullet to the head would be quicker” to remove Pelosi and liked comments about executing FBI agents who she believed were part of the “deep state” working against then-President Donald Trump.
Republican leaders haven’t distanced themselves, so far, from Greene. A spokesman for House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy told Axios that her comments about executing Pelosi and FBI agents were “deeply disturbing” and that McCarthy “plans to have a conversation with the Congresswoman about them.”
Before CNN reported about her support for executions, Greene issued a statement that didn’t dispute the accuracy of the report or disavow the comments. She said it was “yet another hit piece on me focused on my time before running for political office. I will never back down to the enemy of the American people and neither should you.” Greene said she hasn’t always managed her own Facebook account and “Some [likes and shares] did not represent my views.”
When U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., said her comments were “dangerous and unacceptable for a member of Congress,” she responded on Twitter, calling him a heretic. Before the election, he was senior pastor of the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, which was the church led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Greene’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment on Wednesday about the video or whether the congresswoman had any second thoughts or regrets about what she was shown doing in the video with Hogg.
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-West Boca, urged Hogg and others from the Stoneman Douglas community to persevere. “I saw the pain this tragedy brought & the trauma that continues even today in our community. I encouraged the survivors to come to DC to confront Members of Congress about their cowardice and failure to act. I know they’ll be back to confront these cruel, despicable lies,” he said in a statement.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, said on Twitter the House needs to take action on Greene. “Prior to her election, @mtgreenee spent her free time harassing Parkland survivors, calling the #MSD shooting a hoax, and endorsed executing Congress members. Her blatant lies and irresponsible acts are dangerous, repulsive and demand swift consequences from the U.S. House.”