During a recent speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) appeared to refer to Guam as a foreign country — but it’s not. The island is part of the United States, and its inhabitants are (generally speaking) U.S. citizens, although as a territory, the locale can’t participate in electing the president. On Monday, Guam’s representative to Congress — who is a non-voting member — visited Greene’s Capitol Hill office, accompanied by over 20 members of the Guam National Guard. The visit participants apparently hoped to subtly remind Greene that Guam is part of the United States.
LOL. @mtgreenee called Guam a foreign land. So members of the Guam National Guard paid her a visit. (Guam has been a U.S. territory since 1898 and its residents are U.S. citizens.) pic.twitter.com/3bNoOeXkZr
— Mark Elliott (@markmobility) March 15, 2021
Rep. Michael San Nicolas, a Democrat, serves as Guam’s representative to Congress, and he led the visit to Greene’s office this week. San Nicholas brought local foods and books with him, although Greene was not at her office at the time of his arrival. Instead, based on footage, Greene’s legislative director appears to have handled the visit that she got this week.
Maj. Gen. Esther J.C. Aguigui, who serves as adjutant general of the Guam National Guard, commented as follows regarding the Greene visit:
‘We appreciate Congressman San Nicolas’ efforts to represent our culture of Inafa’ Maolek, or bringing harmony, practiced here in Guam. We also thank Congresswoman Greene for ultimately helping raise awareness of Guamanians as citizens of the United States, and our rich tradition of service and sacrifice to our nation.’
Indeed — Greene’s rhetorical stumble provided an impetus for a broader reminder that Guam is, in fact, part of the United States.
Members of the Guam National Guard are in D.C. as part of a deployment to protect the Capitol building in the aftermath of January rioting at the Capitol, and in recent days, Guam personnel also met with Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.). As summarized by Military Times, that visit was meant “to thank Clyburn for his role in securing more pandemic relief funding for Guam,” and the interaction, like the Greene visit, also included a presentation of local foods and books from Guam. Apparently, Guam’s population is about 168,000, and according to a 2014 report from The Washington Post, some one out of every eight adults on the island have served in the military.
Greene’s apparent disregard for the fact that Guam is a part of the United States — “We believe our hard-earned tax dollars should just go for America, not for what? China, Russia, the Middle East, Guam, whatever, wherever,” as she put it — is hardly the only reason that she has faced criticism. Past rhetoric from Greene recently resurfaced including repeated expressions of apparent support for executing prominent Democrats. She eventually attempted to distance herself from past remarks.