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David Hogg, a survivor of the fatal shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, said in a CNN interview on Thursday that he "absolutely remembers" an incident in 2019 in which Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) harassed him and baselessly accused him of being paid by George Soros.

Why it matters: Greene's past online activity indicating support for violence against Democrats and promoting debunked conspiracy theories about mass shootings are presenting a huge problem for Republican leadership.

What's happening: In a recently resurfaced video of Greene confronting Hogg, she calls the gun control activist a "coward" and accuses him of "attacking our Second Amendment," before telling him she's a gun owner and has a concealed carry permit.

What he's saying: "I absolutely remember that and I remember thinking, you know, I'll just keep a straight face and practice my mindfulness meditation that I've often done to cope with my PTSD and my ADHD as well," Hogg said after he was asked if he remembered the encounter.

  • "It was actually really helpful in that regard because we can see in that video, they're clearly trying to get a rise out of me and the fellow activists that I'm with by asking incredibly triggering questions," he continued.
  • "She talks as well about, you know, saying that she's an American citizen, almost as if implying I'm not just as American as she is or any of us are simply for not wanting our friends to die anymore. That's just horrific and disgusting."

The big picture: Republican leaders, including former President Trump, embraced Greene — a former QAnon conspiracy theorist — after her Georgia primary win. The party is now confronting backlash at a time when politicians are being pressured to address extremism after the pro-Trump Capitol riots, AP writes.

  • Hogg called on House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy to strip Greene of her committee assignments. She was appointed this week to the House Education and Labor Committee.
  • A spokesperson for McCarthy told Axios this week that Greene's "comments are deeply disturbing and Leader McCarthy plans to have a conversation with the Congresswoman about them."
  • Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday that he was preparing a resolution to remove Greene from Congress.

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.

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. 

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.

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