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Trevor Noah Digs Into Marjorie Taylor Greene and Other Republicans’ ‘January 6 Amnesia’

As part of the ongoing investigation into the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, CNN announced this week that it had obtained a trove of more than 2,000 text messages sent between Donald Trump’s then-chief of staff Mark Meadows and his “inner circle.”

A lot of these texts are from Republican lawmakers, and a LOT of them directly contradict claims they’d made about their role in or attitude towards the riot and the events leading up to it. Trevor Noah dived into these contradictions on Monday’s Daily Show, investigating what he calls the GOP’s January 6 amnesia.

“A little over a year ago, thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to stop the election from being certified, and they wanted to declare Donald Trump Super-President Forever No Backsies,” Noah said. “But the Capitol riot wasn’t even the scariest thing that happened on Jan. 6, because you see, my friends, we’re now finding out that something else happened that day: Countless Republicans seem to have had their memories erased.” 

Meadows’ text exchanges show a ton of these erased memories, like Rick Perry, who recently denied being the author of text messages sent to Meadows with ideas for overturning the 2020 election. Except texts doing just that were included in the recent dump, and we know they were sent by Perry because—in an extraordinary display of huge Boomer energy—he signed them “Rick Perry.”

But the most glaring case of this “amnesia” comes from Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was forced to testify last week as part of an effort to prevent her from running for reelection. (Turns out the Constitution says you can’t take part in an insurrection and then try to be a part of the country’s leadership!) During that hearing she repeatedly said she “doesn’t recall” a lot of her own words and actions leading up to and on January 6. Many of those words and actions were documented on Twitter and other public internet sources—like when she said she never called Nancy Pelosi a traitor despite her having posted a video of herself calling Pelosi that exact thing.

In addition to her own public self-incrimination, some of Greene’s denials or claims of memory loss were refuted by texts she sent to Meadows on and around the 6th, including one in which she said that she and other unnamed members of Congress thought Trump should impose “Marshall law.”

“In our private chat with only Members, several are saying the only way to save our Republic is for Trump to call for Marshall [sic] law,” she wrote. “I don’t know on those things. I just wanted you to tell him. They stole this election. We all know. They will destroy our country next. Please tell him to declassify as much as possible so we can go after Biden and anyone else!”

OK, first of all, it is terrifying that members of Congress were encouraging the then-president to institute martial law, which allows the military to take the place of the civil government. It is also hilarious that she called it “Marshall” law, as if she wanted the discount department store chain to run the country for a while in a time of crisis.

But it’s also incredibly weird that this is one of the things she said under oath that she “didn’t recall” doing. And as Noah puts it, “That should be an easy one for most people. If you ever ask the president to impose martial law, you would never forget something that specific. If anyone can’t say ‘NO’ to doing something that specific and weird, you definitely did that shit.”

“Clearly this person’s unqualified for Congress, because politicians are supposed to be good at lying,” Noah concluded. “This was just embarrassing.”

(image: John Bazemore-Pool/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.