Politics

‘Beyond reprehensible’: GOP lawmaker condemns Marjorie Taylor Greene’s comparison of mask mandates to Holocaust

“Well, first off, any comparisons to the Holocaust it’s beyond reprehensible. This is — I don’t even have words to describe how disappointing it is to see this hyperbolic speech that, frankly amps up and plays into a lot of the anti-Semitism that we’ve been seeing in our society today. Vicious attacks on the streets of New York and in Los Angeles,” Meijer told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”

During an interview last week with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody Real America’s Voice TV show “The Water Cooler,” the Georgia congresswoman accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of being a hypocrite for asking GOP members to prove they have all been vaccinated before allowing members to be in the House chamber without a mask.

“You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany,” Greene said. “And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”

Greene later defended her comments to CNN affiliate KPNX, saying, “I stand by all of my statements, I said nothing wrong.”

“I think any rational Jewish person didn’t like what happened in Nazi Germany & any rational Jewish person doesn’t like what’s happening with overbearing mask mandates and overbearing vaccine policies,” she said.

Pelosi’s office declined to comment on the remarks, but Greene’s comments drew the ire of multiple congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who was ousted from her House Republican leadership post earlier this month and has publicly warned that the current direction of the Republican Party is “dangerous,” blasted the comments as “evil lunacy.” And Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who has previously spoken out against Greene, tweeted, “Absolute sickness,” while linking to the same clip of Greene’s comments.

Democratic Reps. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey and David Cicilline of Rhode Island tweeted their criticism of Greene’s remarks. And Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, a Democrat, went so far as to call for Greene’s resignation and asked House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to acknowledge Greene’s comments.

“Rep. Greene’s anti-Semitic language comparing the systematic murder of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust to wearing a mask is beyond disturbing. She is a deeply troubled person who needs to apologize & resign. @GOPLeader needs to address her antisemitism,” McGovern tweeted Saturday.

CNN has reached out to McCarthy’s office for comment.

Mask-wearing rules have become a point of contention among lawmakers and a group of Republican lawmakers were fined or warned for defying the House’s mask mandate on the chamber’s floor.

Current House rules state that members can remove their masks on the floor only when they are recognized by the chair to speak. The chair may also remove their mask when speaking from the dais.

A resolution filed by McCarthy to change the current mask guidance in the House of Representatives and allow members to be maskless on the House floor was blocked by Democrats last week.

CNN’s Rachel Janfaza, Ryan Nobles and Annie Grayer contributed to this report.

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