Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia lashed out at CNN reporter Jim Acosta after he questioned her about a text she sent to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in which she suggested that former President Donald Trump should declare martial law—a term she misspelled—to bar duly elected Democratic President Joe Biden from taking office.
Martial law is the temporary substitution of military authority for civilian rule characterized by the suspension of normal civil functions or of civil law by a government. Martial law has been imposed during conflicts and can be used by governments to enforce their rule over the public.
In her text, which you can read below, Greene said other Republicans believed declaring "Marshall Law" "is the only way to save our Republic" in response to the baseless claim Democrats had stolen the 2020 presidential election.
Greene was elected to Congress on the same ballot during the same election she claimed was fraudulent, but like other Republicans never questioned her own election win.
Greene did not take kindly to Acosta questioning her about her text message, sharing a video of her encounter via her official Twitter account to complain about it.
In the video, she can be heard saying she doesn't “recall those being my text messages.” She later accused Acosta of being "just another one of those liars on television" even after he read her own text back to her.
Greene tweeted she was "repulsed" by Acosta and people like him who "gladly take a paycheck to lie and mischaracterize" her—adding the press "makes me sick to my stomach."
Greene's attack did not go over well and many criticized her for the role she played in the days after January 6, the day a mob of former President Trump's supporters attacked the United States Capitol on the false premise the election had been stolen.
Former President Trump never declared martial law while in office, though many of his supporters have wrestled with "fantasies" he might declare martial law in swing states he lost in the 2020 election.
A screenshot of a tweet from an account allegedly belonging to Trump announcing he'd invoked martial law made the rounds in December 2020, in the aftermath of Democratic President Joe Biden's win and as the Trump White House ramped up its campaign to overturn the election results.
The tweet was ultimately proven to be fake but that did not stop the former President's most enthusiastic supporters, QAnon adherents and assorted conspiracy theorists among them, from declaring that the process of "draining the swamp" had begun or that the tweet had been removed from Trump's Twitter account by the opposition.
Earlier this month, officers with the Tulsa Police Department arrested a man who pretended to be a federal marshal and attempted to steal an Audi from a car dealership and insisted he had a right to seize the car when former President Trump "enacted martial law," an indication of the effect this misinformation has had on national political discourse.