Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) was fact-checked by the chief of the U.S. Border Patrol after she claimed agents had found an “explosive” near the southern border in January.
Greene highlighted her claim about this so-called threat in a question to Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz during a Wednesday Homeland Security Committee hearing in Texas. However, Ortiz didn’t clarify the matter when speaking to lawmakers. Afterward, Greene repeated her claim via a tweet, along with a picture of the alleged device, accusing “the Cartel” of “planting bombs” and “murdering Americans everyday through drugs and crime.”
Fox News national correspondent Bill Melugin shared the tweet, adding that he had spoken to a “high-level CBP source” that said the object was a fake. “While it appeared nefarious, I’m told it did not contain any explosives,” he tweeted.
Shortly afterward, Ortiz chimed in with a tweet.
“Today, I testified before the Committee on Homeland Security & it was alleged that Agents found an explosive device near the border,” he wrote, sharing the same image Greene posted. “During a Jan. briefing, leadership was notified that Agents found a duct-taped ball filled with sand that wasn’t deemed a threat to agents/public.”
Greene refused to back down, insisting that unnamed Border Patrol agents had told her otherwise.
“I’m just explaining what I was told today,” she said.
When reached by HuffPost for comment, Greene’s spokesperson did not clarify Greene’s sources or provide evidence, instead writing: “Stop being a state-sponsored propagandist.”
Greene, an anti-immigration hardliner, has hammered the Biden administration over undocumented U.S. border crossings from Mexico, often using incorrect figures. Last month, she faced ridicule after she accused the government of allowing “6 billion” people illegally cross into the U.S. (She later updated the figure to 6 million ― which is still dubious.)
Weeks ago, she used the deaths of two brothers who died from fentanyl poisoning to attack the Biden administration for its “refusal to secure our border and stop the Cartel’s [sic] from murdering Americans everyday.” When a fact-checker pointed out that those men died in 2020, when Donald Trump, not Biden, was president, Greene’s spokesperson told him that lots of people had died from drugs under Biden and “do you think they give a fuck about your bullshit fact checking?’”
Greene has also leaned into the controversial white supremacist “invasion” and
“replacement” language in her pushes for border security. On Wednesday, she tweeted a graph about illegal migrant encounters, writing: “We have no idea who or what is coming across our Southern border. But we do know that we’re being systematically and intentionally replaced by Joe Biden and the Democrats’ open border policies.”