Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused the Republican Party of answering to QAnon conspiracy theorists and white supremacists.
In an MSNBC interview, the New York Democrat criticised House minority leader Kevin McCarthy for bending to their will. She said:
“This term there are legitimate white supermacist sympathisers that sit at the heart and at the core of the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives. And when you see someone like the House minority leader of the Republican Party, Kevin McCarthy, respond to white supremacist vitriol coming from his own members – not with censure … not with consequence, you have to wonder who actually has that power. And it increasingly seems, unfortunately, that in the House Republican caucus, Kevin McCarthy answers to these QAnon members of congress, not the other way around.”
She went on to name Marjorie Taylor Greene, in particular, as a Republican congresswoman McCarthy has failed to take action against, despite her extremist rhetoric.
AOC lambasted McCarthy for failing to respond forcefully enough to these comments. She said:
“He said he was going to pull representative Marjorie Taylor Greene aside. … The thing that I think is, what is he going to tell [these people]? Keep it up? Because there are no consequences in the Republican caucus for violence. There’s no consequences for racism. No consequences for misogyny. No consequences for insurrection. And no consequences mean that they condone it.”
The split between Republicans who never particularly supported Trump, who “kept quiet out of cowardice” during his presidency according to AOC, and “true believers” has only widened since the Capitol riots and Trump’s departure from office.
Some Republicans condemned the attack on the Capitol – and 10 even voted to impeach him as a result – while others, like Greene and Laura Boebert, are still trying to advance Trump’s populist and conspiracy theory-riddled politics in the US government.
Even without a leader, these members of congress and the Republican’s acceptance of them is “extremely dangerous”, AOC pointed out. The consequences of inaction have the potential to incredibly serious: even since the Capitol riot, one of the insurrectionists called for her assassination.
But some Democrats are taking a stand. California congressman Jimmy Gomez moved to try to expel Greene from congress, while Hillary Clinton said that she “should be on a watch list. Not in congress”.