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Marjorie Taylor Greene downplays House Freedom Caucus vote to eject her

<i>Drew Angerer/Getty Images</i><br/>Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is seen at a news conference outside the US Capitol on February 1 in Washington
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is seen at a news conference outside the US Capitol on February 1 in Washington

By Melanie Zanona and Haley Talbot, CNN

(CNN) — Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia told CNN on Tuesday afternoon that she still hasn’t been informed by the House Freedom Caucus that she has been kicked out of the far-right group.

But she said she’s “not really concerned about it.”

“No one has told me that,” Greene told reporters on Capitol Hill. “As a matter of fact, all the information I found out was from you guys.”

She added, “I’m here for Georgia’s 14th District. That’s who voted for me. That’s who sent me here and that’s who I work for. And I don’t have time for the drama club.”

CNN previously reported that the Freedom Caucus ejected Greene from the group just before the July Fourth recess because of her allegiance to GOP leadership and fights she had with members of the caucus, but Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry wasn’t able to get in contact with Greene over the break to tell her the news. Greene’s ejection from the group is the first time the caucus had voted to remove a member since formally launching in 2015.

Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, told CNN Tuesday, “I don’t discuss that” when asked about Greene’s membership status and whether he’s gotten a hold of her yet.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy – who worked to bring Greene into the fold, which is part of the reason for her Freedom Caucus ouster – offered praise for the congresswoman, calling her “one of the most conservative members” and “one of the hardest working members.”

McCarthy called it a “loss” for the Freedom Caucus that they decided to boot her.

“I don’t know why they would do something like that from any perspective,” he told reporters. “I will tell you this – Marjorie Taylor Greene is a very good member, works hard, represents her district night and day. She is always here fighting for the process where it may. I think it’s a loss for the Freedom Caucus.”

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a Freedom Caucus co-founder, echoed a similar sentiment, telling CNN: “I was for keeping Marjorie.”

Jordan praised the Georgia Republican as a “fine member” who “fights hard for her constituents” and “does a great job,” but declined to get into any internal Freedom Caucus dynamics.

Another member of the caucus, Rep. Ralph Norman, told reporters that Greene’s beliefs were too far apart from the rest of the Freedom Caucus for her to remain a member.

“She left the Freedom Caucus. Her views were not the same, which is fine,” the South Carolina Republican said. “She’s a good friend, we just disagree. So it was good for her and it’s good for the Freedom Caucus.”

Norman added, “She was critical of us, of the 20 in January,” referring to the 20 House Republicans who opposed McCarthy’s bid for speaker. “She had different opinions on different things, the 20, of what we did in January, she just disagreed with, and that’s fine, but she’s very vocal and continued on.”

News of Greene’s removal was confirmed publicly by members during the July Fourth recess.

“A vote was taken to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from the House Freedom Caucus – for some of the things she’s done,” Republican Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland told reporters last week.

Colorado Republican congressman and Freedom Caucus member Ken Buck also confirmed Greene’s ousting to CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview on Tuesday.

“My understanding is they voted to remove her, and the chairman has tried to contact her to let her know and there haven’t been any returned phone calls,” Buck told CNN’s Dana Bash on “Inside Politics” Tuesday. “This week she will undoubtedly get notified.”

Buck said he was not in the Friday morning meeting before recess where the vote had been held, but if he had been there, he would not have voted to kick her out, despite his belief she doesn’t belong within the conservative group.

“I don’t want her to be in the Freedom Caucus, but I wouldn’t vote to kick her out,” Buck told Bash. “Once she is in the Freedom Caucus, I think she is what she is.”

This story has been updated with additional developments.

The-CNN-Wire
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CNN’s Manu Raju and Morgan Rimmer contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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