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Rep. Cori Bush moving office away from Marjorie Taylor Greene 'for my team's safety'

Rebecca Shabad and Alex Moe and Leigh Ann Caldwell and Dartunorro Clark
·4 min read
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WASHINGTON — Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., said Friday that she’s moving her congressional office away from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's after the Georgia Republican and her staff “berated” her in a hallway.

“A maskless Marjorie Taylor Greene & her staff berated me in a hallway. She targeted me & others on social media. I'm moving my office away from hers for my team's safety,” tweeted Bush, a freshman House member.

Bush added in her tweet, “I've called for the expulsion of members who incited the insurrection from Day 1. Bring H.Res 25 to a vote.”

Greene, who is also a freshman member of the House, responded on Twitter by claiming Bush was lying about the encounter and that in fact, the Democratic congresswoman berated her.

Greene added a video she claims is of the encounter showing her talking into her phone in selfie format while walking through a Capitol hallway, during which she condemns the "small group" of Trump supporters who rioted at the Capitol on Jan. 6 as well as Democrats for what she claims is their downplaying of violence during last year's protests over police brutality and racial discrimination.

Partway through, she is interrupted by someone shouting nearby, off-camera, to which she responds after donning her mask.

"This is arguing with my Democrat, Democrat colleagues, supposed colleagues," Greene then says after turning back to the camera. "That's how it is. That's how it is now in America."

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California will meet with Greene next week, a senior GOP aide told NBC News. Axios reported earlier this week that McCarthy would have a conversation with her but the timing was unknown. The aide did not disclose the exact details of the meeting, and Greene’s office told NBC News that they “do not comment on private member-to-member communication.”

Bush provided a new statement Friday afternoon about what happened, saying, “On January 13, I was walking with my staff to vote. I was in the tunnel between the Cannon Office Building and the Capitol when Marjorie Taylor Greene came up from behind me, ranting loudly into her phone while not wearing a mask. This took place one day after multiple of my House colleagues announced they had tested positive for COVID-19 after being in a room with Taylor Greene during the white supremacist attack on the Capitol.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., ordered Bush's office change after the Missouri congresswoman made the request following the incident, an aide to the speaker told NBC News on Friday.

Until now, Bush’s office has been located just a few doors down from Greene’s in the Longworth House Office Building. It’s rare for members to move rooms during a session of Congress. The locations of freshmen members' offices are typically determined during a room lottery that occurs during orientation, a few weeks before their term starts. Incoming lawmakers, however, aren’t always aware which members’ offices will be near their own.

The kerfuffle comes as Greene faces calls from lawmakers for her expulsion from Congress or at least removal from the House Education and Labor Committee, to which she was appointed this week by House Republican leaders.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said on MSNBC on Friday that since the Capitol attack it has been difficult working with some Republicans and there has been noticeable anxiety among members.

"There are too many members of the Republican Party who are refusing to wear masks, are refusing to go through metal detectors," said Jayapal, who tested positive for Covid-19 after being huddled in a room during the riots. "And here we are with these colleagues who are trying to bring guns onto the floor and refusing to follow the laws that have been established to be a member of Congress."

She added, "The security threat to us individually, in our homes, in our districts, and on the floor are real, and so is the rage at Republicans who are choosing a cult party and a cult figure over the Constitution, and that’s what it is."

Pelosi lashed out at her GOP counterparts Thursday for the decision to appoint Greene to the committee given her statements questioning the legitimacy of mass shootings and her harassment of student survivors.

Greene has also expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory and called for violence against top Democrats, including Pelosi. The speaker said Thursday that her members are not only under threat from outside groups but from “the enemy is within,” referring to other lawmakers.

At a White House press briefing Friday, press secretary Jen Psaki was asked specifically about Greene and whether someone who has supported QAnon and expressed racist and anti-Semitic views should be serving on House committees.

“We don’t want to elevate conspiracy theories further in the briefing room,” Psaki said, adding that the White House would leave decisions about committees to Congress.

Meanwhile, Reps. Nikema Williams, D-Ga., and Sara Jacobs, D-Calif., said Friday that they plan to unveil a resolution next week that would formally censure Greene and call for her resignation from Congress, their offices said.