In a private meeting with House Speaker Mike Johnson last week, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene accused fellow Georgia Republican Rep. Richard McCormick of getting physically aggressive with her, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter – a charge that McCormick has denied, saying it was a “friendly gesture.”
Greene claimed to Johnson that McCormick grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her following a public spat they had over competing resolutions to censure Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the sources said, and asked the speaker to address the issue. McCormick voted against Greene’s censure resolution and then introduced his own, more narrow version – which prompted Greene to say to reporters at the time that McCormick had his “ego bruised.” She also publicly bashed other Republicans who voted against her resolution.
In a statement provided to CNN, McCormick said the interaction was intended to be friendly, but he apologized to the congresswoman in the moment after realizing she did not receive it that way.
“I understand why there would be a lot of raw emotions following the censure vote given that her censure was tabled and mine passed. My intention was to encourage Rep. Greene by making a friendly gesture,” he said in a statement. “I said to her, ‘at least we can have an honest discussion,’ to which she said she did not appreciate that. For that I immediately apologized and have not spoken to her since.”
Greene on Tuesday disputed to CNN that is how the interaction occurred. Last week, she told CNN she experienced a “serious” situation with an unnamed male colleague, but declined to get into further details.
CNN has reached out to the speaker’s office for comment.
Johnson has worked to address the issue and reached out to McCormick to hear his side of the story, sources said, in just another example of how the new speaker is having to manage the escalating tensions inside his divided conference.
For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com