“I will never leave that woman”: McCarthy vowed to "always take care" of Marjorie Taylor Greene

The GOP House speaker even went to bat for MTG after she was booted off Twitter, according to The New York Times

By Rae Hodge

Staff Reporter

Published January 23, 2023 11:13AM (EST)

Rep.Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) hugs U.S. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) after he is elected Speaker of the House in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 07, 2023 in Washington, DC.  (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Rep.Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) hugs U.S. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) after he is elected Speaker of the House in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 07, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., spoke at a white nationalist rally, claimed California wildfires were caused by Jewish space lasers, called for the execution of elected officials, and chased down a school shooting survivor to harass him in the street -- but, according to a New York Times report, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., "will never leave that woman."

McCarthy in a private conversation with an anonymous source broke with his previous condemnations of Greene's extremist remarks and declared absolute loyalty to the far-right conservative, according to the Times.

"I will never leave that woman," McCarthy reportedly told the anonymous source. "I will always take care of her."

McCarthy defended the remark to the Times, telling that outlet if "you're going to be in a fight, you want Marjorie in your foxhole." 

"When she picks a fight, she's going to fight until the fight's over. She reminds me of my friends from high school, that we're going to stick together all the way through," he said. 

The Times further revealed that when Greene's attempts to spread misinformation about COVID-19 prompted Twitter to shut down her account, McCarthy went to significant lengths to help her lift the suspension -- including helping draft a formal appeal on her behalf and having his general counsel, Machalagh Carr, argue with Twitter executives on the phone for hours.

The report comes less than a week after McCarthy faced heavy criticism from both parties for appointing Greene to the powerful House Homeland Security and Oversight Committees. White House spokesman Andrew Bates on Thursday called on Republicans to "come clean" about the secretive deals McCarthy made with far-right conservatives during his bid to secure the speakership. 

"What other hidden bargains did Speaker McCarthy make behind closed doors with the most extreme, ultra MAGA members of the House Republican conference?" Bates said in a statement to Politico. "The American people have a right to know -- now -- which is why we are calling on him to make every single one of them public immediately."


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Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., rebuked McCarthy's appointments in a Thursday tweet.

"It's clear that Kevin McCarthy was willing to sacrifice anything to become speaker – including the security of our country," said Lee. 

Tara Setmayer, a Project Lincoln senior advisor and former GOP aide, blasted McCarthy for seating an extremist on a key panel.

"Marjorie Taylor Greene—A white nationalist adjacent, pro-insurrectionist, Q-anon conspiracy theorist, anti-Semite now has a seat on the Homeland Security Committee," Setmayer said.

"Welcome to Kevin McCarthy's speakership. A total disgrace."

Noah Bookbinder, president of the nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, suggested on Twitter that the report foreshadowed how private compromises could be shaping the House.  

"The Speaker of the House has reportedly forged an 'ironclad bond' with extreme election denier and conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene," he wrote. "That tells you a lot about how the House will be working to undermine, not support, democracy this year."


By Rae Hodge

Rae Hodge is a news and politics reporter for Salon. Her data-driven, investigative coverage spans more than a decade, including prior roles with CNET, the AP, NPR, the BBC and others. She can be found on Mastodon at @raehodge@newsie.social. 

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