EXCLUSIVE — ROME, Georgia — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is the rare House freshman to become a household name.

The Republican was a polarizing figure even before she took office as Georgia's 14th Congressional District representative, having vigorously parroted false claims, made by then-President Donald Trump and his backers, that the 2020 White House race count was rigged.

Supporters of the congresswoman from northwest Georgia call her a patriot ready to fight for conservative causes.

Detractors claim she's unhinged and unfit for high office and accuse her of abusing power for personal gain. From the start of Greene's political career, some constituents have taken a dim view of what they call her over-the-top theatrics.


And for one 14th District voter, it's personal, having been on the receiving end of the lawmaker's fury before Greene was in office. To the voter, the congresswoman is nothing but a bully.

The woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she feared retaliation from Greene's supporters, shared a nearly two-year-old voicemail with the Washington Examiner about a campaign trail confrontation with Greene in which the CrossFit coach-turned-politician accused her, a lifelong Republican in her 70s, of spreading vicious lies and told her to "check herself."

The voicemail, left during the 2020 election cycle, started off with Greene matter-of-factly identifying herself. But Greene's tone soon changed, becoming exasperated and accusatory.

"This is Marjorie Greene," the recording started. "It's been brought to my attention that you are sharing some lies about me that are being spread by one of the head leaders of antifa, someone that you wouldn't, huh, want to be involved with or know anything about. This is my phone number, [censored]. I'm going to suggest that you check yourself and your source because this is someone that you don't want to be involved with and you don't want people to know that you're involved with. This person has sent death threats to me and also threatened my daughter, and this is someone who is very dangerous. So, you can call me back, and I'd like to talk to you about it more."

Marjorie Taylor Greene
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. (Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner)

The voicemail left the voter rattled, but it also confused her.

She didn't belong to antifa, nor did she know anyone who did. She had spent decades hobnobbing and hosting conservative elites such as former Georgia Govs. Nathan Deal and Sonny Perdue as well as Republican senators and House members.

The woman told the Washington Examiner she had sent only one published article about Greene to 10 friends interested in politics, each of whom are Trump-loving conservatives. She sent the article "because Marjorie just appeared on the scene in Rome," and the close-knit community wanted to know who she was and why she was running for Congress.

"I've never quite met anyone like Marjorie," she told the Washington Examiner. "She just scares everyone to death. You never know what she's going to do."

The voter thought the cellphone message might have been a one-off, but she was wrong. Greene also tracked down her home phone number and left a similar message.


The 2020 voicemail episode in many ways presaged Greene's pugilistic approach to being a House member. Greene has, among other comments, compared the Democratic Party to Nazis and likened COVID-19 safety measures to the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust (a remark she later apologized for).

In January, Twitter suspended Greene's Twitter account for posting COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. On Feb. 4, the Democratic-majority House voted to remove Greene from her committee assignments in response to what critics called incendiary statements and endorsements of political violence. In addition to all House Democrats, 11 Republican lawmakers voted to strip Greene of her assignments.

After hearing the 2020 recording, Rome, Georgia-based Democratic political strategist David McLaughlin noted the congresswoman's go-to insult has been to say someone is a member of antifa even if he or she isn't. Antifa is a far-left militant group that calls itself "anti-fascist" and has no defined organizational membership process or hierarchy. Antifa groups are mostly clustered in left-wing cities, and members see themselves as descendants of the European anti-Nazi movements.

"I love how [Greene] calls everyone antifa," McLaughlin said. "You could fill up a Waffle House booth with members of antifa that live in Georgia's 14th Congressional District."

He added cheekily, "I didn't know Marjorie Taylor Greene was such a big Ice Cube fan with the 'check yourself' line." The popular '90s rapper had a song called "Check Yo Self."

At least three other people the Washington Examiner spoke to in and around the Rome area said they were too terrified to use their names and feared retaliation by Greene.

"You get to go home, but we have to stay here with her," one of the women said. "Her people can make life miserable for us."

Jennifer Strahan speaks to voters in Georgia's 14th Congressional District. Stahan is running in a crowded GOP primary against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Courtesy

Whether such Greene-hostile views are the exception or the rule in the congresswoman's district will be tested in the Republican primary on May 24. Greene faces a crowded GOP primary field, and if no candidates win a majority of the vote, the top two finishers will compete in a June 21 runoff.

Greene's closest competitor, Jennifer Strahan, told the Washington Examiner Greene "must be defeated on May 24."

“For someone who rails against communism, she sure seems to steal a lot from their playbook," Strahan said. "In America, we pride ourselves on standing up to bullies. Marjorie Taylor Greene is nothing but a fraud and a bully."

Strahan, a healthcare management consulting firm owner, styles herself a "no-nonsense conservative who knows how to get things done." The 728,551 residents of the 14th District (according to the 2020 census) deserve better, Strahan's argument goes.

"People are just tired of hypocrisy," Strahan said. "I think people want to see results. I think people shouldn't have to sacrifice effectiveness for their conservative values, and that's the mentality that people have. I also think that people recognize that if they just stay away from the polls or keep their heads in the sand, that it's not actually helping either."

James Haygood, another candidate challenging Greene in the primary, told the Washington Examiner he voted for her during the last election but has been frustrated by what little she's accomplished.

"Yes, you are supposed to go to Washington to work, but the people of the 14th District elected you to represent them and their needs, and for 15 months, we've had no representation," said Haygood, a farmer.

Greene did show up in Rome on May 2, the first day of voting, and created a stir.

"You can't find her nowhere, and then all of a sudden, it's early voting, and oh, sweet Jesus, she's cruising the 14th District, and she's making appearances along the way like she's always there," Haygood said.

James Haygood is one of the Republican primary challengers to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Courtesy

Greene, though, seems unfazed. She told Axios that the wave of opponents "excites the mainstream media and the Washington, D.C., bubble, because they're like: 'Oh, people are running against Marjorie Taylor Greene; maybe we can get rid of her.' But honestly, it's really nothing at all."


The Washington Examiner contacted Greene's reelection campaign multiple times for comment. At first, a campaign spokesman accused the Washington Examiner of being in the pocket of her challengers. Then, the Greene campaign pivoted and said it would "consider" making the congresswoman available — but only if the Washington Examiner agreed to do a negative story on Strahan. The campaign then said it would comment on the 2020 phone message but missed an extended deadline.