Cori Bush says she is moving offices to get away from Marjorie Taylor Greene after mask altercation
Posted January 29, 2021 3:40 p.m. EST
CNN — Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri announced Friday that she will be moving her office away from GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, following a heated exchange earlier this month where Bush confronted Greene about not wearing a mask in a hallway on Capitol Hill.
The fallout led Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take the extraordinary step of ordering Bush's office to be moved away from Greene, following a request from Bush, the latest signs of the growing tensions between the two parties in the aftermath of the deadly riot on Capitol Hill.
"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" Bush tweeted Friday.
Greene spokesman Nick Dyer responded to Bush's accusation in a statement to CNN by saying, "Rep. Bush is actually the instigator and it's on tape. We'll be releasing the video shortly." Greene's office tweeted a short video of the congresswoman talking into her phone and someone in the background yelling at her to put a mask on.
At specific issue is a confrontation from January 13 when Bush and her staff encountered Greene without a mask and talking into her phone in the tunnel between the Cannon Office Building and the Capitol, according to a description Bush provided to CNN.
Bush did not dispute the fact that she confronted Greene, starting the altercation. Bush repeatedly asked Greene to put on a mask, to which Greene and Greene's staff criticized Bush on an unrelated issue. Bush also cited CNN KFile reporting on Greene's social media posts that appeared to support violence against politicians as well as "Taylor Greene's renewed, repeated antagonization of the movement for Black lives in the last month directed towards Congresswoman Bush personally" as reason for the move.
In her tweet, Bush also joined a growing list of her Democratic colleagues calling on Greene to be expelled from Congress after a fountain of highly inflammatory comments Greene has previously made have come to light.
The offices of both congresswomen are currently on the same floor of the Longworth office building, but not adjacent. where many members of the House have their offices located. The altercation did not happen in the hallway near the congresswomen's offices.
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota tweeted that Greene's actions amount to a "red flag" and that Bush "moving her office doesn't mitigate the threat."
"Imagine going to work with an armed hostile unstable colleague and not having much recourse," Omar tweeted.
Still, expelling a member from Congress requires two-thirds of the chamber to vote to remove that person. Republicans control just under half the seats in the House, and GOP leadership has so far shown no steps toward reprimanding Greene for her comments or previous posts. A spokesman for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said earlier this week that the California Republican found the comments "deeply disturbing" and plans "to have a conversation with the Congresswoman about them."
A Pelosi aide told CNN, "this room assignment change was by the direct order of the Speaker upon request from Bush."
Offices for members are traditionally assigned through a room lottery system, which takes place in November of an election year, according to guidance put out by the Committee on House Administration.
A House aide noted that freshmen office selection is determined by lottery during the New Member Orientation program, which took place in November.
Greene's posts from before being sworn into the new Congress earlier this month have gotten renewed scrutiny this week, after CNN reporting earlier this week that showed Greene repeatedly indicated support for executing prominent Democratic politicians in 2018 and 2019, a CNN KFile review of hundreds of posts and comments from Greene's Facebook page showed. Also this week, several other previous comments and actions from recent years have resurfaced and faced new scrutiny including a confrontation with Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg, and another agreeing with people who said the 2018 shooting was a "false flag" operation.
CNN reported Thursday that Greene has removed dozens of Facebook posts from 2018 and 2019.