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Rep. Nancy Mace attends freshmen orientation in November. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The freshmen class of House Republicans has been fighting since last Wednesday's Capitol assault, creating a clear split just over a week after being sworn in.

What we’re hearing: On Tuesday, Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) got in a tart back and forth on a text chain with all freshmen GOP members, according to sources who've read the text messages.

  • The conversation started when Greene — a fierce defender of President Trump and former QAnon backer — sent a National Pulse article to the chain claiming the president’s approval numbers had increased in December.
  • Mace, who came out early against Republicans who planned to reject the election results, fired back: “I’m disgusted by what you and other Q-conspiracy theorists did last week in the chamber after all of the violence.”
  • Greene said she condemned it and told Mace “don’t believe the fake news." She also brought up how some Black Lives Matter protests turned violent.
  • Mace answered: “Literal QAnon lady trying to deny she’s a QAnon lady.”

According to the sources who've read the messages, Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) chimed in thanking Greene for the support of the president. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) pinged his support of Mace.

Why it matters: The divisions we’re seeing in the Republican Party as a whole are rippling through every layer of Congress, and making enemies within the new freshmen class.

  • There’s normally a sense of camaraderie among new members when they take office, as they lean on each other while learning to navigate Congress. The usual grace period has evaporated as they're pressured to take a stance on Trump during the impeachment vote Wednesday.

What they're saying: "Who is the freshman rep that is betraying everyone's trust and leaking our group chat to the press?" Greene said to Axios.

  • A spokesperson for Mace didn't respond to a request for comment. 

Go deeper

Jan 20, 2021 - Technology

QAnon faces the music

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Supporters of former President Donald Trump who thought he was about to stop the inauguration, seize power and crush his enemies were left blinking in the sunlight Wednesday as President Biden took the oath of office.

Why it matters: It's an inflection point for anyone who realizes they've been strung along by QAnon and related strands of pro-Trump magical thinking. They could either retreat from conspiracy theories or tumble deeper down the rabbit hole.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.