Marjorie Taylor Greene sorry for likening masks to Holocaust

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https://www.bbc.com-image copyright EPA

image caption Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia had previously doubled down on her comparison

A Republican lawmaker has apologised for likening coronavirus mask rules to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.

Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia disavowed her comments after a visit to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.

The conservative firebrand said it was important for her to acknowledge she had made “offensive remarks”.

The Trump ally has courted controversy since assuming office in January.

Speaking outside the US Capitol on Monday, Mrs Greene said: “One of the best lessons that my father always taught me was when you make a mistake you should own it.

“And I have a made a mistake and it’s really bothered me for a couple of weeks now and so I definitely want to own it.”

She added: “There is no comparison to the Holocaust.

“And there are words that I have said and remarks that I have made that I know are offensive and for that I want to apologise.”

She continued: “If we’re going to lead, we need to be able to lead in a way where if we’ve messed up it’s very important for us to say we’re sorry.”

What did Greene originally say?

In an interview with a conservative podcast last month, Mrs Greene, 47, lambasted safety protocols adopted by Democrats in the House of Representatives, including a requirement that masks be worn on the chamber floor.

“You know, we can look back in a time and history where people were told to wear a gold star,” she said.

“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.

“This is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi [Democratic House speaker] is talking about.”

After a firestorm of criticism, including from the Republican leadership, Mrs Greene persisted with the analogy.

She tweeted out a news story about a supermarket chain that planned to allow vaccinated workers to go maskless.

“Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star,” the lawmaker posted.

How has Greene previously courted controversy?

In February, the US House voted to expel her from two committees over Facebook posts she made before being elected last November. Eleven of her fellow Republicans sided with Democrats to vote against her.

In the social media posts, Mrs Greene had advocated violence against Democrats and the FBI.

She apologised for her remarks, and also retracted a past claim suggesting that no aeroplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11.

Mrs Greene has also come under fire for other incendiary remarks, including that the 2018 midterm elections had ushered in “an Islamic invasion of our government”.

In 2018, she suggested California wildfires were started by a space laser beam, which she argued was controlled by the Rothschilds, a prominent Jewish banking company.

 

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