(WASHINGTON) — Days after GOP Reps. Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene appeared at an event organized by a white nationalist, Republican party leaders are condemning them for attending.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement Monday criticizing white supremacist hate.
“There’s no place in the Republican Party for white supremacists or anti-Semitism,” McConnell said in a statement first reported by Politico.
Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters Monday afternoon that he found Greene and Gosar’s attendance “unacceptable.”
McCarthy suggested to reporters that he plans to speak with both Gosar and Greene later this week.
“To me, it was appalling and wrong,” McCarthy told reporters. “There’s no place in our party for any of this.”
“The party should not be associated any time any place with somebody who is anti-Semitic…This is unacceptable,” he added.
McCarthy was in Israel last week with a congressional delegation. He told Punchbowl News that the news of Greene and Gosar’s attendance was particularly upsetting because of his recent visit.
Greene and Gosar have both previously been stripped of their committee assignments for their egregious behavior.
McCarthy, however, has previously said he would restore their assignments if Republicans take back the House in November.
McCarthy told CNN and another reporter outside his office that even though Greene claimed not to know who the event organizer was “with that introduction, you should have walked off stage.”
Shortly before introducing Greene, Nick Fuentes, the white nationalist who organized the event, led participants in applause for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and chanted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s name.
Republican Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, when asked about Greene’s behavior Monday, also condemned the event but stopped short of condemning her members.
“White supremacy. Neo Nazism, hate speech, and bigotry are disgusting. They have no place or home and our party.”
McDaniel didn’t say whether the party would take any further action against its members, such as censuring them. Instead, she said she “would let the process play out” and see if any members brought any censures forward at a party meeting in August.
The criticism follows recent comments by former President Donald Trump, who continues to praise Putin. During an interview with the conservative radio show “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” on Tuesday, Trump labeled Putin’s tactics “genius” and “savvy.” Trump ultimately slammed the invasion on Saturday night at the Conservative Political Action Conference but called Putin “smart.”
Greene and Gosar’s appearance at the conference Friday night is now renewing calls for them to be reprimanded by fellow Republicans in Congress.
“In any other world, Greene speaking at a white supremacist conference where attendees have defended Vladimir Putin and praised Adolf Hitler would warrant expulsion from the caucus, to say nothing of her advocacy for violence and consistent anti-Semitism is disgusting,” Democratic National Committee spokesperson Ammar Moussa said.
Greene, however, has doubled down on her appearance.
“I won’t cancel others in the conservative movement, even if I find some of their statements tasteless, misguided or even repulsive at times. I encourage them to seek wisdom, and apologize to those who have been hurt by their words, as I’ve had to do,” she said. “Our faith calls for charity and forgiveness.”
“We’re not going to be deterred by journalists and Washington insiders who fear the name of Our Lord, and relentlessly attack those of us who proclaim His name. We know that Christ is our only judge,” she added.
Over the weekend, in addition to claiming she didn’t know who Fuentes was, Greene said she went to the event to reach his young audience and to discuss “American First” policies.
Last month, Fuentes was subpoenaed by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
ABC News’ Mariam Khan contributed to this report.
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