Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has apologised for recent comments in which she compared the required wearing of safety masks in the US House of Representatives to the horrors of the Holocaust.
“I’m truly sorry for offending people with remarks about the Holocaust,” the Georgia Republican told reporters outside the Capitol, saying she had visited Washington’s US Holocaust Memorial Museum earlier in the day.
“There’s no comparison and there never ever will be,” she added.
Ms Greene’s comments were a rare expression of regret by the conservative agitator, a freshman whose career has included the embrace of violent and offensive conspiracy theories and angry confrontations with progressive
Her apology came more than three weeks after and appearance on a conservative podcast where she compared Covid-19 safety requirements adopted by Democrats controlling the House to “a time and history where people were told to wear a gold star”.
Ms Greene said they were “put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany. This is exactly the type of abuse that (House speaker) Nancy Pelosi is talking about”.
The comments were condemned by Republican leaders, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who called the comparison “appalling”.
GOP leaders have often been reluctant to castigate Ms Greene, a close ally of former president Donald Trump.
After social media posts were unearthed in which Ms Greene suggested support for executing some Democratic leaders, Mr McCarthy and most Republicans stood by her when the House took the unusual step of stripping her of her committee assignments in February.