A Democratic congresswoman says she plans to relocate her Capitol Hill office for safety reasons after being “berated” by an outspoken conservative Republican congresswoman.
Democrat Cori Bush, an ordained pastor from Missouri, described confrontations with Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, whose office is near Ms Bush’s in one of the three large US House of Representatives office buildings. Both are first-term House members who took office this month.
The incidents are further evidence of discord among lawmakers after a January 6 riot in which supporters of Republican former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, interrupting the formal certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory and leading to the deaths of five people.
Ms Bush wrote on Twitter she was moving her office after Ms Greene “berated me in a hallway” and “came up from behind me, loud and unmasked”. Public health experts have recommended masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
“What I cannot do is continue to look over my shoulder wondering if a white supremacist in Congress by the name of Marjorie Taylor Greene or anyone else – because there are others – that they are doing something or conspiring against us,” Ms Bush told MSNBC on Friday.
Ms Greene accused Ms Bush of “lying” about the matter and on Twitter called Ms Bush, who is black, “the leader of the St Louis Black Lives Matter terrorist mob”. Ms Greene is white.
Ms Greene first gained national attention for her interest in the QAnon conspiracy theory that falsely claims high-profile Democrats are part of a pedophile ring. CNN reported that before going to Congress, Ms Greene had expressed support for executing Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Ms Greene also promoted Mr Trump’s false claims that he won the November election.
Ms Pelosi said on Thursday that new security measures might be needed “when the enemy is within the House of Representatives”.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has been under pressure to take action against Ms Greene and has said he would have a “conversation” with her.