Marjorie Taylor Greene asks if Republicans are ‘being bribed’ to oppose impeachment

Marjorie Taylor Greene gave a doozy of an interview with right-wing podcast host Charlie Kirk on Wednesday to commiserate about House Republicans’ failed impeachment vote Tuesday of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

Greene has been big mad about the failed vote and, like many of her pro-impeachment colleagues, is looking for someone—anyone—to blame, including Democrats for trying “to throw us off on the numbers.” 

But Greene has plenty of disdain for the Republicans who voted against the bill too. When Kirk asked why Ken Buck of Colorado, Tom McClintock of California, and Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin voted against impeachment, Greene seemed flabbergasted—but didn’t rule out the possibility that “they’re being bribed.”

Kirk fed the Georgia congresswoman the utterly baseless idea, asking, “Do you think these people are being blackmailed by the intel agencies? They might have had relations with certain  people and pictures and compromised. Do you think that they're currently being blackmailed?”

And Greene took the bait.

You know, I have no proof of that, but again, I can't understand the vote. So, nothing surprises me in Washington, D.C. anymore, Charlie. Literally, nothing surprises me because—it doesn't make sense to anyone, right? Why would anyone vote no? Why would anyone protect Mayorkas unless they're being bribed, unless there's something going on, unless they're making a deal. You know, because you can't understand it. It makes no sense. And it's completely wrong to vote no on impeachment.

Greene also speculated that Buck, who is retiring, is “trying to get a job working for CNN like Adam Kinzinger.” She insisted that McClintock is clearly not a real “constitutionalist.” And after listing off all of Gallagher’s military intelligence and military bonafides, she concluded, “I can't understand why he made that vote. But he did.” 

Greene might not understand it, but that doesn’t mean these Republican congressmen haven’t been clear and open about their reasons for voting against the impeachment stunt. 

Gallagher explained his opposition in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, titled “Why I Voted Against the Alejandro Mayorkas Impeachment.” 

“Creating a new, lower standard for impeachment, one without any clear limiting principle, wouldn’t secure the border or hold Mr. Biden accountable,” he wrote. “It would only pry open the Pandora’s box of perpetual impeachment.”

McClintock also explained his opposition in a speech on the House floor before Tuesday’s vote.

“Cabinet secretaries can't serve two masters. They can be impeached for committing a crime related to their office but not for carrying out presidential policy,” he said. “I'm afraid that stunts like this don't help."

On Wednesday, McClintock appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” to again defend his vote, and responded to Greene saying McClintock needs to “read the room.

“I suggest she read the Constitution that she took an oath to support and defend,” he said. “That Constitution very clearly lays out the grounds for impeachment,” he said. “This dumbs down those grounds dramatically and would set a precedent that could be turned against the conservatives on the Supreme Court or a future Republican administration the moment the Democrats take control of the Congress.”

Nevertheless, Greene “can’t understand” why her Republican colleagues weren’t on board with her impeachment aspirations. It must be a conspiracy.  

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Trump lashes out at Laurene Powell Jobs over Atlantic piece calling him ‘fascistic,’ anti-Christian

Former President Donald Trump attacked The Atlantic and its publisher and majority owner, Laurene Powell Jobs, a billionaire philanthropist who is the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. On Saturday, Trump posted a diatribe on his money-losing Truth Social platform.

He did not specify which article in the magazine upset him so much. But last Wednesday, Peter Wehner, who served in the administrations of Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. and Jr., wrote an op-ed for The Atlantic titled: “Have You Listened Lately to What Trump Is Saying?

In the piece, Wehner described Trump’s rhetoric at recent campaign rallies as “clearly fascistic” and anti-Christian. Wehner, a Christian conservative, concluded that by supporting Trump, “far too many Christians in America are not only betraying their humanity; they are betraying the Lord they claim to love and serve.”

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Trump posted this on his Truth Social platform:

It’s so good to see how badly the THIRD RATE MAGAZINE, The Atlantic, is doing. 

It’s failing at a level seldom seen before, even in the Publishing Business. False and Fake stories do it every time! They’ve got a rich person funding the ridiculous losses, but at some point, rich people get smart also. Steve Jobs would not be proud of his wife, Laurene, and the way she is spending his money. The Radical Left is destroying America!”

It’s not the first time that Trump has gone after Powell Jobs. In September 2020, Trump got angry after The Atlantic published a story by its editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg that cited four anonymous sources as saying Trump called Americans who fought and died in World War I “losers” and “suckers.” 

In October 2023, Trump’s former White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, a former Marine Corps general whose son was killed by a landmine in Afghanistan, went on the record with CNN to confirm details of Goldberg’s story. But back in September 2020, Trump posted this on what was then known as Twitter:

Steve Jobs would not be happy that his wife is wasting money he left her on a failing Radical Left Magazine that is run by a con man (Goldberg) and spews FAKE NEWS & HATE. Call her, write her, let her know how you feel!!!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2020

Trump’s tweet was responding to a post by Charlie Kirk, who has become a millionaire heading the conservative pro-Trump youth group, Turning Point. 

While Powell Jobs has not responded directly to Trump, she has put her money where her mouth is by donating generously—to the tune of more than $900,000—to Joe Biden’s reelection campaign. Powell Jobs founded the Emerson Collective after she inherited billions of dollars of stock in Apple and Disney after her husband died of pancreatic cancer in 2011. In 2023, Forbes ranked her as the eighth richest woman in the U.S. with a fortune estimated at $13.4 billion.

The Emerson Collective is a social change organization dealing with such issues as education, immigration reform, the environment, health care, and media. In 2017, it purchased a majority stake in The Atlantic, which was founded in 1857 by prominent abolitionists, including writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson.

But Wehner is no liberal. He is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative Christian who served as a speechwriter and senior adviser to President George W. Bush. But he became one of the first senior Republicans to see the dangers posed by a Trump presidency and wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in January 2016 titled: “Why I Will Never Vote for Donald Trump.” He said he would vote for “a responsible third-party alternative.”

And Wehner has only grown more alarmed about Trump’s threat to American democracy, which he expressed in last week’s op-ed. Wehner began by relating how political leaders of the Hutu ethnic group cultivated hatred toward the minority Tutsis in Rwanda by singling them out in rhetoric “as less than human,” eventually leading to the 1994 genocide in which an estimated 1 million people were killed, mostly Tutsis. He noted that one influential Hutu political leader referred to the Tutsi as “vermin.”

And Wehner said that he thought about the events leading to the Rwandan genocide when he heard Trump refer to his enemies as “vermin” in a Veterans Day speech. Trump said in Claremont, New Hampshire:

“We pledge to you that we will root out the Communists, Marxists, fascists, and the radical-left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country—that lie and steal and cheat on elections. They’ll do anything, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America and to destroy the American dream. The threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous, and grave than the threat from within. Our threat is from within.”

Wehner wrote:

Trump’s rhetoric is a permission slip for his supporters to dehumanize others just as he does. He portrays others as existential threats, determined to destroy everything MAGA world loves about America. Trump is doing two things at once: pushing the narrative that his enemies must be defeated while dissolving the natural inhibitions most human beings have against hating and harming others. It signals to his supporters that any means to vanquish the other side is legitimate; the normal constraints that govern human interactions no longer apply. …

That is the wickedly shrewd rhetorical and psychological game that Trump is playing, and he plays it very well. Alone among American politicians, he has an intuitive sense of how to inflame detestations and resentments within his supporters while also deepening their loyalty to him, even their reverence for him.

After citing Trump’s numerous anti-democracy excesses, Wehner called out those in the Republican Party who, though they know better, have accommodated themselves to “a profoundly damaged human being, emotionally and psychologically.”

And he also expressed alarm about the continuing overwhelming support among white evangelical Protestants, one of the GOP’s most loyal constituencies, for Trump and MAGA world. He noted that in one survey, nearly one-third of white evangelicals expressed support for the statement, “Because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.”

Wehner wrote:

It is a rather remarkable indictment of those who claim to be followers of Jesus that they would continue to show fealty to a man whose cruel ethic has always been antithetical to Jesus’s and becomes more so every day. Many of the same people who celebrate Christianity’s contributions to civilization—championing the belief that every human being has inherent rights and dignity, celebrating the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount and the parable of the Good Samaritan, and pointing to a “transcendent order of justice and hope that stands above politics,” in the words of my late friend Michael Gerson—continue to stand foursquare behind a man who uses words that echo Mein Kampf.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Taking a stand for conscience, even long after one should have, is always the right thing to do.

in his op-ed, Wehner also mentioned how Trump once described the press as “truly the enemy of the people.” And he recalled that Trump once demanded that the parent company of MSNBC and NBC be investigated for “treason” over what he described as “one-side[d] and vicious coverage.” Trump’s Truth Social post on Saturday lashing out at The Atlantic and its publisher, Powell Jobs, by name has to be seen in that context. 

On Monday morning, Wehner appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” After host Joe Scarborough sharply criticized Trump’s threatening rhetoric as “evil,” Wehner piled on about the disgraced former president who remains the GOP presidential front-runner despite two impeachments and four criminal indictments. 

"There is a long history of this dehumanization, these passions consuming people, including people of faith. That's why I think there has to be such a pushback from others, to try, in a sense, to shake them and say, 'Do you know what you're doing? Do you know what you're a part of? You've jettisoned everything you claim to most cherish in your life to make inner peace with this man who is a sociopath, an unfiltered sociopath.'

"And he is undisguised … in who he is and what he wants to do. That not only pushes them away, but it brings them toward him. It is just a sickening episode in the history of American politics and the history of American Christianity."