Greene forum

A Whitfield County Sheriff's Office deputy speaks to WRCB Channel 3 reporter Meredith Aldis, right, after she tried to ask a question of U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene at a forum she hosted Wednesday in Dalton. Aldis said she was threatened with arrest if she did not leave.

DALTON, Georgia — A Whitfield County, Ga., Sheriff's Office deputy threatened to arrest a television news crew after a reporter tried to ask embattled U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene a question at a forum she hosted in Dalton Wednesday night.

Chattanooga, Tennessee's WRCB Channel 3 identified the reporter as Meredith Aldis and the photojournalist as Jacob Babb.

Greene told Aldis the meeting was for constituents and "not a press conference." A deputy escorted the news crew from The Event Center, a privately owned facility. WRCB reported the deputy threatened the reporter and photojournalist with arrest for criminal trespass if they did not leave.

Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood, who attended the event as a guest, told the Daily Citizen-News he was "not aware of the circumstances" of the reporter's removal.

Media were allowed at the event but Greene's staff told them she would not be available for questions.

Aldis attempted to ask Greene about media reports that she supported social media posts that suggested violence against Democratic politicians. On Tuesday, CNN reported the controversial freshman congresswoman "repeatedly indicated support for executing prominent Democratic politicians in 2018 and 2019 before being elected to Congress." The report was the result of a CNN KFile review of hundreds of posts and comments from Greene's Facebook page.

Greene offered no answer and when contacted by the Daily Citizen-News previously Wednesday also declined comment.

Greene spoke to the audience of approximately 80 about a variety of topics, ranging from the storming on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 largely by Donald Trump supporters to strides made with the COVID-19 vaccines.

Greene spoke of the riot at the Capitol as Congress gathered to certify the results of the Electoral College vote for President-elect Joe Biden.

"It was a terrible day. It should never have happened," she said.

Greene praised Trump for Operation Warp Speed, a public-private effort to develop vaccines for COVID-19 funded by $10 billion in federal money. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has called the results of Operation Warp Speed "beyond historic." Almost 24 million Americans have been vaccinated so far.

Greene called COVID-19 "very serious," saying the elderly and others at high risk, such as her father, should wear a mask.

"He wears a mask," she said. "I wear a mask every time I see him."

But she said she opposes mask mandates that would force children and healthy adults to wear masks.

Greene, who represents the 14th Congressional District which includes Whitfield and Murray counties, has come under fire for supporting QAnon conspiracy theories and repeating baseless, unsubstantiated claims of election fraud in support of Donald Trump.

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