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Crockett slams Greene as ‘racist’ following contentious House committee meeting


By Haley Talbot, Morgan Rimmer, Manu Raju and Melanie Zanona, CNN

(CNN) — Democratic Rep. Jasmine Crockett criticized Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, calling her “racist,” following a tense House Oversight markup Thursday evening that quickly devolved into personal attacks.

As the panel met to advance contempt proceedings against Attorney General Merrick Garland over his refusal to turn over audio recordings of President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur, Greene, a Georgia Republican, sparked outrage when she commented on Crockett’s appearance. “I think your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading,” Greene said.

Speaking to reporters on Friday about the incident, Crockett said, “That’s all it is, it is racism. And she decided that she was going to be that person out loud and out front on yesterday. The difference is I just wasn’t going to take it laying down.”

“She is racist. I mean, I don’t have any questions about that,” she added.

When asked by CNN’s Abby Phillip Friday night why she believes Greene’s comments were racist, Crockett said the Georgia Republican “was just basically repeating the nonsense that MAGA world is constantly putting out there.”

“I’ve received so many amazing compliments from MAGA America throughout my time in Congress,” Crockett said, sarcastically, on “NewsNight.” “A lot of times when I would go viral, instead of them trying to address the things that I laid out in a very factual way, what they would try to do is say, ‘Oh, look at her hair,’ or ‘Look at her nails,’ or ‘Look at her lashes,’ and they would all then associate anything I do as a form of beautification with being quote-unquote ‘ghetto.’”

“I am not the only woman in Congress that wears lashes, and there are women on her side of the aisle that wear lashes as well, as well as hair extensions. But she’s never felt like that was a dig that she needed to take at anyone except for me, a Black woman who sits on the committee,” she added.

Asked for comment by CNN earlier Friday, Greene’s office said, “the only member that brought up any reference to color was congresswoman Crockett.” On social media Friday, Greene doubled down on her comments and slammed criticism from within her party about her behavior.

“AOC isn’t intelligent. Jasmine Crockett has fake eyelashes. These aren’t attacks on personalities. These are just facts,” she wrote on X.

The rules of the House dictate members can’t “engage in personalities,” meaning they are not allowed to make offensive comments about or toward another member.

If it occurs, the member who was insulted can ask for the words to be stricken from the record and, if that happens, the offending member is not allowed to speak for the remainder of the proceeding.

During the markup, there was a failed vote to strike Greene’s comments from the record and she was allowed to continue her remarks.

At the markup, Greene started by asking Democrats on the committee if any of them employ the daughter of Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the criminal trial in New York of former President Donald Trump. As Republicans have sought to curry favor with Trump, they have gone after Merchan’s daughter, who has ties to Democrats, as they seek to undermine the case.

Crockett, a Democrat from Texas, asked Greene, “Do you know what we’re here for?”

Greene shot back: “I don’t think you know what you’re here for … I think your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading.”

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez immediately jumped in to get Greene’s words taken down.

“That is absolutely unacceptable. How dare you attack the physical appearance of another person,” the New York Democrat said.

After a series of votes in response to Greene’s explosive rhetoric, Crockett made a dig that appeared to be directed at the Republican.

“I’m just curious. Just to better understand your ruling. If someone on this committee then starts talking about somebody’s bleach blonde bad built butch body, that would not be engaging in personalities, correct,” Crockett said.

Crockett said on Friday that Greene is unserious and does not respect the process.

“She’s lacking any ability to actually engage in actual discourse, she doesn’t know her job. She doesn’t know the issues that we’re dealing with when we’re in committee. So instead, she does what most of MAGA does which they seek to insult and personal attacks. She needs to get a staff that can get her up to speed so that she can actually talk about something of substance and actually represent her district,” Crockett said.

Crockett also said she is a “grown woman” and wasn’t going to take it “laying down.”

“One thing I’m not going to do is have somebody disrespect me as a duly elected official myself, and then I’m just going to say, well, that’s okay. And rub it off. No, we’re not going to do that.”

She added: “So if if they can’t follow the rules, I will have to fight for myself.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson, who has a contentious relationship with Greene, said Friday that “it’s regrettable” that partisanship in the House devolved into ad hominem attacks and chaos during the meeting.

“I think decorum is an important thing for us to maintain around here,” Johnson said, adding, “even when we disagree — even vehemently — we’ve got to treat one another with dignity and respect.”

In response, Greene took to social media to slam Johnson, whom she tried to oust from the speakership earlier this month.

“How ridiculous is it that the Speaker runs his mouth about decorum when our opposition refuses to follow it at all,” she wrote on X Friday evening.

Republican and Democratic members of the House Oversight Committee also expressed shock and disgust at the “unacceptable” conduct during the committee meeting.

“It’s not appropriate. None of it’s appropriate,” said GOP Rep. Tim Burchett, who was seated next to Greene during the hearing. “I mean, ‘butch body’ and ‘bleach blonde’ hair, now that – there’s no place for that up here. And it’s just, it’s disgusting. And I got a little girl, I don’t want to hear her insulting somebody’s appearance like that. And yeah, it was pitiful,” he added.

The top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin, said that House Republicans’ behavior “brought disgrace to the whole institution,” criticizing Greene’s conduct in the hearing.

“When the chairman allowed the distinguished gentlelady from Georgia to attack another members’ eyelashes or her personal appearance, the whole meeting descended at that point,” he said.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Kaanita Iyer contributed to this report.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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