As national attention swirls around controversial social media postings and comments from Marjorie Taylor Greene's recent past, the congresswoman representing Northwest Georgia hosted a town hall Wednesday night in Dalton, where her supporters stood behind her despite the mounting backlash.
Greene has come under intense pressure after comments she "liked" on Facebook were recently dug up that indicated support for executing prominent Democrats.
In a post from January 2019, Greene liked a comment that said "a bullet to the head would be quicker" to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In other posts, Greene liked comments about executing FBI agents who, in her eyes, were part of the "deep state" working against then-President Donald Trump, according to screenshots by CNN.
At Wednesday's town hall, Greene largely avoided the social media posts and instead discussed what she is focusing on as a congresswoman, including gun rights, anti-abortion legislation and passing a law designed to prevent transgender individuals from playing sports with teammates of any gender except their gender at birth.
Greene also described in detail what it was like to be at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection. She said it was "honestly one of the scariest days of my life."
The riots started after Trump — and prominent allies like Greene — had refused to accept his loss in the Nov. 3 election, calling the ballots rigged and saying repeatedly that the election was stolen. Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to stop Congress from certifying the outcome.
Greene denounced the violence Wednesday night and said she was disappointed the insurrection delayed and got in the way of Republican lawmakers voting to object to the results from certain states.
When Greene mentioned the stories being reported on her history of social media use, she criticized the media and wondered why they didn't report stories on her making posts about things like Bible verses.
Anthony West of Chatsworth voted for Greene in the primaries and still supports her. West said he voted for her because he thought she was the most "sincere in what she believed and that she would actually do what she said."
West said he hadn't seen the recent posts that Greene had posted herself, "liked" and commented on, but said he had heard about them.
"I don't think any person alive would want their worst moments portrayed and to be judged by that, so I'm not going to judge her by that either," West told the Times Free Press at the town hall.
Another supporter, Tony Ridge of Dalton, grimaced when a Times Free Press reporter told him about the "bullet to the head" comment that Greene liked on Facebook.
"Oh, see, I mean, that's just not her," Ridge said. "It's just words. Some of those things, nobody will do anything about, and if they hold it in their hearts, I'm sorry for them. That kind of speech is useless really and I'm kind of surprised she would actually have liked that."
In a response to the CNN report on Twitter, Greene attributed her controversial social media activity to teams of people who operated her social media accounts before she was elected and called CNN the enemy of the people.
Ridge has supported Greene because she — a lot like President Trump — "truly represents the people of this country." He also liked that she wasn't the most politically correct candidate and said what she thought without mincing words.
Tommy Harrison of Lookout Mountain, Georgia, said the "social media tech giants" are against conservative voices and Greene is one of the ones who they are trying to censor.
"I think in the end it just boils down to they'll find anything they can grab a hold on to, to make somebody look bad," Harrison said. "They did that with President Trump, and they've done it with several other people."
About halfway through the town hall meeting, a TV reporter for WRCB-Channel 3 in Chattanooga tried to ask Greene a question while she was on stage. The three news outlets at the town hall had been told by Greene's team there would be no media availability by Greene and that any media member who tried to ask a question would be escorted out.
Meredith Aldis with Channel 3 tried to ask a question despite the warning.
"I'm talking to my constituents," Greene replied. "This isn't a press conference."
Greene's team and two Whitfield County deputies escorted Aldis out. The reporter later said the deputies threatened her with an arrest for criminal trespassing.
Outside the town hall, Greene's social media history is garnering less support. A spokesperson for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California told Axios on Tuesday, "These comments are deeply disturbing, and Leader McCarthy plans to have a conversation with the congresswoman about them."
Greene, R-Rome, was elected without Democratic opposition on Nov. 3. She beat Republican John Cowan in a primary election, despite the support of many establishment Republicans.
During the primary, other comments that Greene made in Facebook videos surfaced. She said she was worried about "an Islamic invasion of our government" after the first two Muslim women were elected to the House. She said she would feel "proud" to see a Confederate monument if she were a Black person because it would symbolize how much progress the country has made since the Civil War.
During the primary, McCarthy called the comments "appalling." After Greene easily won, McCarthy said he had looked forward to Greene winning in November.
In August, Trump endorsed Greene, calling her a "future Republican Star" and "a real WINNER!" in a tweet.
President Joe Biden's press secretary, Jen Psaki, was asked a question at Wednesday's press briefing about some of Greene's comments.
"I'm not going to speak further about her, I think, in this briefing room," Psaki said.
U.S. Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-California, said on Wednesday he will push for Greene's removal from office over the social media activity supporting violence against Pelosi and others.
"Her very presence in office represents a direct threat against the elected officials and staff who serve our government, and it is with their safety in mind, as well as the security of institutions and public servants across our country, that I call on my House colleagues to support my resolution to immediately remove Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from this legislative body," he said.
Contact Patrick Filbin at email@example.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.