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Pelosi says Marjorie Taylor Greene targeted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with 'abuse' and 'verbal assault' in the Capitol

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Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) arrives for an event on Capitol Hill on April 14, 2021. AP Photo/Susan Walsh
  • Nancy Pelosi suggested Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene should be investigated by the House Ethics Committee for confronting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

  • Pelosi described Greene yelling at Ocasio-Cortez and pursuing her down a hallway as "abuse" and "verbal assault."

  • The Washington Post first reported on Greene's behavior, which occurred as the two lawmakers exited the House chamber on Wednesday.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene should be investigated by the House Ethics Committee for aggressively questioning and pursuing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Capitol on Wednesday.

Pelosi described Greene shouting at Ocasio-Cortez and following her down a hallway as "abuse" and "verbal assault," and called the behavior "beyond the pale."

"It probably is a matter for the Ethics Committee," Pelosi told reporters, adding that it's not her place to decide what that committee investigates. "This is beneath the dignity of a person serving in the Congress of the United States and is a cause for trauma and fear among members, especially on the heels of an insurrection in which the minority in the committee yesterday denied ever happened."

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On Wednesday, the far-right freshman lawmaker from Georgia chased Ocasio-Cortez down a hallway as the two left the House chamber, accusing her of supporting terrorists and "radical socialism," The Washington Post reported Thursday. Greene called out "Hey Alexandria" twice as Ocasio-Cortez walked away, per The Post.

"You don't care about the American people," Greene shouted. "Why do you support terrorists and antifa?"

Ocasio-Cortez threw up her hands and said something to Greene that The Post's reporters couldn't hear. The Republican then turned to reporters and called Ocasio-Cortez a "chicken" and "pathetic."

"She's a chicken, she doesn't want to debate the Green New Deal," she said to a small group of reporters and onlookers near the entrance to the chamber. "These members are cowards. They need to defend their legislation to the people. That's pathetic."

Greene told reporters on Thursday that Ocasio-Cortez "doesn't need to file ethics violations or whatever she's doing." She added, "that's reacting like a child. Adults are able to debate policy." The Republican also insisted she didn't "scream" at Ocasio-Cortez and was simply "talking" to her.

In response to Wednesday's incident, a spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez urged congressional leaders and others in charge of enforcing rules at the Capitol to "take real steps to make Congress a safe, civil place."

"Representative Greene tried to begin an argument with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and when Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tried to walk away, Congresswoman Greene began screaming and called Rep. Ocasio-Cortez a terrorist sympathizer," the spokeswoman, Lauren Hitt, told The Post in a statement. "We hope leadership and the Sergeant at Arms will take real steps to make Congress a safe, civil place for all Members and staff - especially as many offices are discussing reopening. One Member has already been forced to relocate her office due to Congresswoman Greene's attacks."

Greene has repeatedly singled out Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive members of Congress and, at one point, released a campaign ad featuring an image of herself holding an assault rifle next to pictures of Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats' faces. Facebook took down that particular ad for violating its policy against "violence and incitement."

Ocasio-Cortez has said that she and other Democratic lawmakers don't feel safe around many Republican House members, particularly those who have minimized or lied about the events of January 6.

Another progressive lawmaker, freshman Rep. Cori Bush, moved offices to be farther away from Greene after she accused Greene of accosting her in a Capitol hallway. Greene denied the charge and called Bush a "terrorist" for helping lead Black Lives Matter protests.

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