WASHINGTON — Returning from a two-week recess, House Freedom Caucus members refused to say Tuesday whether they had kicked Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene out of the group of conservative hard-liners.
"I don't discuss that," said Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry, R-Pa.
"I don't talk about membership at the Freedom Caucus," added a Greene rival, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.
"I'm just not gonna comment on that with all the world problems were having," chimed in Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C.
After two weeks of confusion over whether Greene, R-Ga., a top ally of former President Donald Trump, was still an active member of the group, Freedom Caucus members declined to provide any clarity Tuesday, calling the matter an internal issue.
"It's none of your business. It's our business," said Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., another Freedom Caucus member who just last week had told reporters that the group had taken a vote to remove Greene.
"Those are private matters and concerns," added Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas.
Earlier, Freedom Caucus members had said they took an "overwhelming" vote to oust Greene from the group on June 23 — the day lawmakers left for the July Fourth recess — over her staunch support for Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and for her having called Boebert a “little b----” on the House floor.
But GOP sources said Greene had not directly heard from Perry or anyone else in the Freedom Caucus that she had been booted. Some senior Freedom Caucus members argued that Perry had tried to reach out to Greene by email, text and phone but that she rebuffed his efforts.
Greene appeared to confirm that account Tuesday, saying she was not interested in talking to Perry over the phone — “just in person.” But by Tuesday night, the pair still had not connected.
She also complained that her Freedom Caucus colleagues had failed to personally inform her of the action they took on the morning of June 23, when lawmakers were still in session.
Asked whether she still considers herself a member of the Freedom Caucus, Greene replied: “I consider myself the representative of Georgia’s 14th District.”
Norman added to the confusion by saying it was Greene’s decision to leave the group, which Greene has not confirmed.
“She left the Freedom Caucus. Her views were not the same, which is fine," Norman said. "She’s good friend. We just disagree.”
Greene arrived in Washington in January 2021 as a conservative bomb-thrower and a thorn in the side of GOP leadership. But a year later, she and McCarthy formed an unlikely partnership. Greene became one of McCarthy's fiercest advocates in his bid for speaker and defended his deal with President Joe Biden to raise the debt ceiling amid conservative attacks.
On Tuesday, McCarthy called Greene “one of the hardest-working members" of Congress and put her in the speaker's chair to preside over the House floor.
“I don’t know why they would do something like that,” McCarthy said of the Freedom Caucus. “But I’ll tell you this — Marjorie Taylor Greene is a very good member, works hard, represents her district.”
Some Freedom Caucus members said they had no heads-up two weeks ago that there was an effort to oust Greene from the group and did not attend the 8 a.m. meeting where the vote occurred.
"I wasn’t involved in that. I didn’t attend the vote. I didn’t even know it was happening,” Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., said in an interview.