A member of the House GOP suggested on Sunday that Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, should be educated about conspiracy theories while defending her appointment to two committees.
Representative Michael McCaul has represented Texas’s 10th Congressional District since 2005, and was recently appointed as the chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He also previously chaired the committee on Homeland Security from 2013 to 2019.
McCaul appeared on ABC‘s This Week on Sunday, where he was pressed about the appointment of Greene to the House Committee on Homeland Security, as well as the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Host Martha Raddatz asked the congressman if he thought the appointments were appropriate, given that Greene had, in 2018, promoted conspiracy theories doubting the official account of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, specifically doubting that a plane had actually hit the Pentagon.
McCaul defended Greene, stating that she had matured in the years since she first espoused such theories. He also added that senior members of Congress need to help educate her about the wrongheadedness of such conspiracies.
“She has matured, I think,” McCaul said. “She realizes she doesn’t know everything and wants to learn and become more of a team player. I think it’s incumbent upon more senior members of Congress…to try and bring her in and try to educate her that these theories that she has are not accurate.”
When asked if he would have preferred a different appointment to those committees besides Greene, McCaul deflected, on grounds that he is neither the chair of those committees, nor is he the speaker of the House.
Greene was elected to represent Georgia’s 14th Congressional District in 2020. Only a month after she was sworn in, the House voted to remove her from the House Committee on the Budget and the House Committee on Education and Labor, due to inflammatory comments she made prior to her election.
She became notorious during her initial rise to the national spotlight for espousing various conspiracy theories, before and after taking office. These included the 9/11 theories discussed on This Week, as well as white genocide, Pizzagate, and QAnon-related theories. She also received widespread mockery for suggesting that California wildfires might have been started by satellite lasers owned by a prominent Jewish family.
Recently, as she gained more power in the House, and began taking more politically pragmatic stances, Greene distanced herself from some of her past conspiratorial leanings, blaming her QAnon beliefs on the internet.
“Like a lot of people today I had easily gotten sucked into some things I’d seen on the internet,” Greene said earlier this month. “But that was dealt with quickly early on. I never campaigned on those things. That was not something I believed in. That’s not what I ran for Congress on. Those are so far in the past.”
Newsweek reached out to Greene’s office for comment.