Conspiracy-Slinging Republican Claims ‘Sarcasm’ After January 6 Remarks Were Caught on Video

Right-wing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) claimed that she was being “sarcastic” when she told a GOP group that they “would have won” if she had organized the January 6 2021 coup attempt against the United States government.

Greene was speaking at a New York Young Republicans Club event on December 10 2022 and complaining that she had been targeted since being elected to Congress. She said:

Fact Check

Claim: Marjorie Taylor Greene was serious about organizing the January 6 2021 coup attempt

Description: Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed on video that she was ‘sarcastic’ when she implied that if she had organized the January 6 2021 coup attempt against the US government, they would have won. Many spectators and critics interpreted her statement as a serious claim.

Rating: Mostly False

Rating Explanation: After the remarks surfaced, Taylor Greene clarified that she was being sarcastic, making fun of the notion by suggesting that if she and Steve Bannon had organized the event, it would’ve been successful. Thus, it seems that this was a sarcastic remark rather than a serious claim about the events of January 6.

I come to Washington [D.C.], I get sworn in on January 3rd, I get accused of leading insurrection tours — which I thought was hilarious, I couldn’t even find the bathroom at the Capitol … true story. Then January 6th happens, the next thing you know I organized the whole thing along with Steve Bannon here. And I want to tell you something: if Steve Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won. Not to mention, it would’ve been armed. That’s the whole joke isn’t it? They say that whole thing was planned and I’m like, are you kidding me? A bunch of conservative Second Amendment supporters went in the Capitol without guns and they think we organized that?

Footage of the remarks spread online:

“The White House needs to learn how sarcasm works,” Greene said in a statement. “My comments were making fun of Joe Biden and the Democrats, who have continuously made me a political target since January 6th.”

As the Southern Poverty Law Center reported, the event was a gathering for not only Republican Party supporters, but also established disinformation pushers and open white nationalists:

At the five-hour event, which Hatewatch reporters attended, white nationalists Peter and Lydia Brimelow of VDARE hobnobbed with Steve Bannon, a former Trump adviser and White House official. Donald Trump Jr. was also in attendance.

Republicans publicly lauded members in attendance from an Austrian political party founded by World War II-era Nazi party members. Racist political operative Jack Posobiec shared jokes across a table with Josh Hammer, the opinion editor of Newsweek.

Greene made her “sarcastic” remark less than a month after Stewart Rhodes, leader of the white nationalist Oath Keepers group, and of his several cohorts were convicted of seditious conspiracy in connection with the attack, which was driven by the lie that Donald Trump was re-elected as U.S. president in 2020. In reality, he lost by a significant margin.

This is a lie that Greene herself has supported, as shown in video of her boasting over preparations to object to the result in her official capacity and claiming (falsely) that Trump “won by a landslide”:

The “joke” also ran counter to her tone in a text message sent during the coup attempt to Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff at the time. As CNN reported in April 2022:

At 2:28 p.m., Greene, the conservative firebrand who had helped to plan the congressional objections that day, texted Meadows with an urgent plea for help as the violence was unfolding at the Capitol.

“Mark I was just told there is an active shooter on the first floor of the Capitol Please tell the President to calm people This isn’t the way to solve anything,” Greene wrote. Meadows does not appear to reply.

The text exchange came to light during a legal challenge regarding her eligibility to run for re-election. As NPR reported that same month:

Greene answered many questions Friday about her statements, social media posts and conversations in the days before Jan. 6 with “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall.”

Asked whether her office gave tours to any members of the public in the days before the riot, or whether her campaign or congressional staff provided information or funds to people who participated in or organized the riot, she said no.

“I don’t support violence of any kind,” Greene testified at the time. “My words never ever mean anything for violence.”

While claiming she was “joking” about aligning with a known white nationalist figure in Bannon, Greene also lashed out at Yoel Roth, former head of Twitter trust and safety.

“Rather than trying to weaponize a sarcastic joke I made, they should be going after people like Yoel Roth who silenced a sitting President and allowed child pornography to run rampant on Twitter,” she wrote, falsely.

CNN reported that Roth, who left the social media platform in November 2022, was forced to leave his home amid threats to his safety after Twitter owner Elon Musk smeared him as being supportive of pedophilia — a common element in many fully debunked right-wing conspiracy theories, from Pizzagate to QAnon to anti-vaccine and anti-masker lies to smears against queer and transgender communities, and beyond.