Is Marjorie Taylor Greene too Maga for Trump?


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It has been quite the week for women closely associated with Donald Trump. While one gave testimony in a New York courthouse detailing how she allegedly spanked the former US president with a rolled-up magazine in a penthouse suite, another was booed in Congress as she tried — and failed — to oust the speaker of the House. (Yet another was forced to continue to defend killing her dog with a shotgun.)

The booee, and the focus of this column, was Marjorie Taylor Greene, the CrossFit-coach-turned-conspiracy-theorising-congresswoman from Georgia otherwise known as “MTG”. Just ten fellow Republicans backed her “motion to vacate” Mike Johnson from the speakership, a humiliating defeat.

“Moscow Marjorie has clearly gone off the deep end — maybe the result of a space laser,” one congressman told reporters. (The laser is a reference to Greene’s suggestion that California’s 2018 wildfires might have been caused by “space lasers” funded by the Rothschilds; “Moscow Marjorie” alludes to her opposition to military aid for Ukraine.) “Most of us, by the time we turn 12 years old, figure out that tantrums don’t actually work and apparently, not everybody in Congress has got the memo,” said another. “She’s uninformed, she is a total waste of time,” said a senior senator.

You might think these are just the kind of normal digs one would expect from members of the opposition, especially against someone as far to the right as MTG. But the comments came from members of her own party (Mike Lawler, Dusty Johnson, and Thom Tillis, respectively). Even some conservative media outlets have turned against Greene, with Fox News calling her an “idiot” and Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post Photoshopping a Russian fur cap onto a picture of her with the headline “NYET, MOSCOW MARJORIE”.

Greene is surely the most loyal and ardent of Trump’s supporters in Congress — the embodiment of the Maga faction of the GOP. She has promoted his claims that the 2020 election was stolen; supported efforts to impeach Joe Biden; and last year, when Trump was about to be arrested and arraigned on charges related to the hush money trial that is now under way, she compared him to Jesus and Nelson Mandela.

Yet none of her detractors in the party seem concerned that going after her is going to get them in trouble with The Big Boss. And Trump has hardly stood by her. He said on his Truth Social platform on Thursday that while he “absolutely loves” Greene, it was “not the time” to try to oust Johnson, and that “disunity” in the party would “negatively affect everything”. He also is reported to have held a meeting at Mar-a-Lago last weekend with several high-profile Republicans, in what some saw as an audition for the vice-presidency. MTG, who claimed last year to be on “a list” of possible VP picks, was NFI. Among those who were was, as if to spite Greene, Johnson.

It would not be the first time Trump has snubbed his most devoted hanger-on. When I was at Mar-a-Lago in February, at an event dedicated to “celebrating Trump” for which Greene flew in specially, I noticed Trump didn’t so much as acknowledge her. After he gave his speech and made his way through the crowd, he totally ignored Greene, who was trying to say something to him. A similarly dismissive attitude was on display last June in Georgia where Trump had just touched down for a convention — Greene stood clapping for him on the tarmac and he just walked right on past.

The problem for Greene is that, while she might have been useful for Trump once — when he had to compete with the likes of Ron DeSantis for the right-wing base of the Republican party — now that he is the nominee he doesn’t need her anymore. Not only is she no longer useful, but it might actually damage Trump to associate himself with her too much. The base is secured; it’s the centre he now has to appeal to. And some of his supporters have told me that there is a gap between what Trump says to appeal to the Maga crowd, and what he really believes.

A further problem is that Trump thinks of himself as a “classy” guy. He might rail against the elites, but he also longs to be accepted and loved by them. He likes things to be “elegant”, and Greene doesn’t fit into that world. When former BBC journalist Emily Maitlis asked her about the “Jewish space lasers”, Greene told her to “fuck off”. A recent message to British foreign secretary David Cameron was “kiss my ass”.

I’ve seen it suggested on social media that Greene’s problem is that she is “not Trump’s type”. Given the bevvy of beauties he surrounds himself with in his staff and legal team, I don’t consider this as preposterous a theory as it should be. But it’s more than that. These days, MTG seems too Maga for DJT.

jemima.kelly@ft.com





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