News and Commentary

‘In Fear Of The QAnon Kooks’: Dem Rep Condemns GOP For Not Condemning Message Of Two Genders
Marie Newman, candidate for Congress in IL-03, speaks to reporters after receiving the endorsement of Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018.
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

On Thursday, after the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, Democratic Illinois Congresswoman Marie Newman told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that members of the Republican Party are “in fear of the QAnon kooks” because they didn’t condemn a fellow congresswoman’s message that there are only two genders and her statement that “Your biological son does NOT belong in my daughters’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams.”

On Wednesday, Congresswoman Marie Newman, whose biological son identifies as a girl, posted a video of herself hanging a pink and blue transgender pride flag across from Georgia GOP Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene’s office, tweeting, “Our neighbor, ‪@RepMTG, tried to block the Equality Act because she believes prohibiting discrimination against trans Americans is ‘disgusting, immoral, and evil.’ Thought we’d put up our Transgender flag so she can look at it every time she opens her door.”

In response, Greene posted a video of herself posting a sign reading, “There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE “Trust The Science,” She tweeted, “As mothers, we all love and support our children. But your biological son does NOT belong in my daughters’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams.”

Cuomo began his exchange with Newman by pontificating, “The Equality Act is a landmark piece of legislation that would ban discrimination against LGBTQ Americans. Remember, the gay marriage case was only a start. If they don’t have federal protection, like color, creed, sex, forget it, you’re going to fight this case-by-case.”

Cuomo did not mention that Newman posted the video as a gesture directed at Greene, only saying, “On Wednesday, the Democratic Representative Marie Newman, she’s got a transgender daughter, OK, she posted this video of herself hanging a pink and blue transgender pride flag outside her office door. It’s in the interest of what we used to call ‘Tolerance.’”

He segued to calling Greene “the QAnon kook,” a reference to her past promotion of the conspiracy theory, stating, “Greene, right, the QAnon kook, who sits directly across from Newman, is a vocal opponent of the Equality Act. That’s OK. That’s politics. But how do you show that?”

Not mentioning that Newman started the brouhaha herself, Cuomo continued:

In response to the flag, Greene, makes her own video, posting this. An antagonizing sign that completely demoralizes all people who are non- binary, “There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE “Trust The Science,” which is of course, irony, because she doesn’t believe in any science. She’s a QAnon freak.

He said, “She also aimed a tweet at Newman’s child. ‘Your biological son does NOT belong in my daughters’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams.’ Now, this speaks to an ignorance of transgender people.” Cuomo did not reference the part of Greene’s tweet in which she stated, “As mothers, we all love and support our children.”

Cuomo opined, “The last thing a transgender kid wants to do is show off a difference anatomically from any other kid. This has always been a boogeyman, that some grown-up, some man was going to come in, to a girl’s bathroom. It’s always been a boogeyman. The cases aren’t there. And it’s just ugly.”

Cuomo asked Newman, “But what did it mean to you to have a Member of Congress act like somebody who you’d have to deal with as a fringe at a Town Hall?”

Newman answered, “She is in disagreement with the view, shall we say, but clearly, clearly, she is angry. She’s angry at everybody and everything. So, her kind of modus operandi at all times is to, in fact, bully people. Well, you can only let bullies go so long, and you have to speak out.”

Newman acted as if she had not provoked the confrontation, alleging, “And so, I was making a statement about seeing the community, seeing LGBTQ folks, embracing them and respecting them. That’s all that was meant. I am not surprised at her behavior. I am surprised that she is a Congressperson.”

Cuomo said, “Well, it’s a good point. Let’s forget about her.”

Newman replied, “Yes.”

Cuomo queried, “What do you say to the members of her party who are silent in the face of her words and deeds?”

“Yes, here’s the good news is that several members of the Republican Party did reach out to me privately, and expressed that they were horrified by her behavior, and they were horrified by her general being in Congress, to be honest with you,” Newman answered. “A few actually, spoke out publicly. Adam Kinzinger is among them, and I really appreciated those comments. That said, I think that they are in fear of the QAnon kooks because they do spread lies, and they can turn on their own. They’ve demonstrated that. So, it is unfortunate that more didn’t reach out. But some did. And I want them to have credit. And I want them to know I deeply appreciate them reaching out.”

Newman added later, “We’re supposed to be role models in Congress, not just by our character, but our deeds, our actions and what we say. So, it’s very important about what we say. Words matter, but actions really matter, Chris. And that’s why I actually chose to act today.”

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