House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Congress needs to beef up security measures against “the enemy within,” referring to reported threats by Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and to other GOP lawmakers who have tried to bring guns onto the House floor.
At her weekly press conference at the Capitol, Mrs. Pelosi said she is pushing for new spending “for more security for members, when the enemy is within the House of Representatives, as threats that members are concerned about.”
Asked to elaborate about the “enemy within,” Mrs. Pelosi said, “It means that we have members of Congress who want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of Congress.”
The comments from the California Democrat were driven in large part by Ms. Greene, the newly elected congresswoman from Georgia’s 14th Congressional District who has embraced QAnon conspiracy theories and has a history of making incendiary statements online.
Ms. Greene is under scrutiny for now-deleted social media posts in which she expressed support for calls for violence against Democrats such as Mrs. Pelosi and former President Barack Obama.
The 46-year-old congressional newcomer liked a comment in 2019 that “a bullet to the head would be quicker” to remove Mrs. Pelosi from her post, and she said in 2018 that the “stage is being set” in response to a post about hanging Mr. Obama.
Other videos that have resurfaced show her confronting a Parkland, Florida, shooting survivor and suggesting the anti-gun rights lobby was involved in orchestrating the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 60 people.
Ms. Greene has pushed back against recent reports, including from CNN, describing the news network as “fake news” and saying it was “taking old Facebook posts from random users to try to cancel and silence my voice.”
“They are coming after me because I’m a threat to their goal of Socialism,” Ms. Greene tweeted. “I will never back down to the enemy of the American people and neither should you.”
Ms. Greene won her seat by nearly a 50% margin after she seized a slew of headlines over her controversial posts and embrace of QAnon conspiracies theories.
Former President Donald Trump last year called her a “future Republican star” and she remains one of the ex-president’s most vocal allies.
Mrs. Greene was spotted wearing a “Trump won” mask on Capitol Hill after her swearing-in this month.
Her actions have irked her colleagues, and pressure is mounting on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has defended her in the past, to respond.
Rep. Jimmy Gomez, California Democrat, introduced a resolution this week to expel Ms. Greene from the House.
House Republican leaders faced additional blowback this week after tapping her to serve on the House Education and Labor Committee.
“House Republicans have appointed someone to this committee who claimed that the killing of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary was a hoax,” committee Chairman Bobby Scott of Virginia said of her appointment to his panel. “House Republicans have appointed someone to this committee who has publicly endorsed violence against elected officials.”
Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, said this week he plans to have a conversation with her.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Illinois Republican, said Tuesday the GOP needs to take a good look in the mirror and decide whether Ms. Greene belongs in the party.
Speaking on the Axe Files podcast with former Obama adviser David Axelrod, Mr. Kinzinger said Ms. Greene has brought a “new crazy” every day into Congress.
“She has already introduced articles of impeachment against Joe Biden for being Joe Biden, I guess,” the Illinois Republican said. “All these people — including her — they are out here for one reason: to be famous.”
Mr. Kinzinger said he could raise his profile and gain popularity online, too, if he started tweeting out messages that were “bat s—- crazy.”
“I will be famous and I think a lot of people see that as a quick trip to fame, and that is a big problem with politics,” he said.