WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Top House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy denounced fellow Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Tuesday for comparing the wearing of COVID-19 masks to the Holocaust, a rare intra-party rebuke.
“Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling. The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling,” McCarthy said in a statement in part.
“Let me be clear: the House Republican Conference condemns this language,” McCarthy said.
His statement followed a Tuesday morning rant on Twitter by Greene who had already drawn a backlash from Jewish groups for comparing the chamber’s mandate that members wear a mask on the House floor to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the yellow stars that Nazi Germany required Jews to wear.
“This morning, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican Congresswoman from Georgia, once again compared preparations taken against COVID to the Holocaust,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Tuesday. “These are sickening, reprehensible comments, and she should stop this vile language immediately.”
It is the latest eruption between Republicans in the House, where McCarthy and other party leaders have sought to forge unity after ousting fellow Representative Liz Cheney from her No. 3 leadership role for denouncing Trump’s unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.
This is not the first time the firebrand Georgia ally to former President Donald Trump has drawn controversy and conflict within the Republican party.
Earlier this year, the newly elected Georgia Republican had been named to the education committee, a decision that drew harsh criticism because of her suggestions before being elected that school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and Parkland, Florida, could be hoaxes.
McCarthy and the House Republican caucus did not take action against Taylor Greene for her prior incendiary remarks and her embrace of conspiracy theories.
When the party declined to act, the House did, with just 11 Republicans joining Democrats in the February vote stripping her of her committee assignments.
On social media, Greene previously expressed racist views and supported calls for violence against Democratic politicians, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi has previously said Greene’s behavior was “beneath the dignity of a person serving in the Congress of the United States and is a cause for trauma and fear among members.”
Upon backlash, Greene disavowed belief in a QAnon conspiracy theory, acknowledging that school shootings really happened and that the Sept. 11 attacks did occur.
“I never said any of these things since I was elected for Congress,” Greene said.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.