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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

Scoop: GOP ignored its early fears about Marjorie Taylor Greene

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

During previously unreported meetings last summer, House Republican leaders discussed — but then largely set aside — fears that QAnon-supporting conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene would end up a flaming trainwreck for their party.

Why it matters: Greene has emerged not just as an embarrassment but a challenge for the GOP, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy now forced to weigh whether to maintain his policy of sanctioning members who make dangerous statements.

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

Conservatives warn culture, political wars will worsen

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The verdict is clear: The vast majority of Republicans will stand firm with former President Trump. The next phase is clear, too: Republicans are rallying around a common grievance that big government, big media and big business are trying to shut them up, shut them out and shut them down. 

Why it matters: The post-Trump GOP, especially its most powerful media platforms, paint the new reality as an existential threat. This means political attacks are seen — or characterized — as assaults on their very being.