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Rep. Ruben Gallego, one of the bluntest members of Congress on Twitter, escalated his war of words with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of the most popular conservatives on Capitol Hill, after she called the former Marine a "coward."
Greene, R-Ga., replied to a 2-day-old tweet from Gallego, D-Ariz., on Tuesday, igniting a social media spat rooted in the lingering partisan rancor over the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
On Sunday, Greene, a freshman, tweeted to her 400,000 followers that "Democrats are the enemy within," accusing the party of killing hundreds of thousands of businesses with shutdowns, presumably referring to the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed 577,000 Americans.
She said the party's policies put America last and in characteristically conspiratorial fashion said "Democrat funded BLM/Antifa riots have cost BILLIONS in damage," in a reference to the Black Lives Matter social justice movement and the unaffiliated anti-fascist movement on the left.
An hour after Greene's tweet, Gallego responded with his usual candor from his personal Twitter account, which has 112,000 followers.
"I was trying to figure what type of pen to stab your friends with if they overran us on the floor of the House of Representatives while trying to conduct a democratic transition of power. So please shut your seditious, Qanon loving mouth when it comes to who loves America," Gallego tweeted on Sunday.
It was a reference to Gallego's efforts as the pro-Trump rioters swarmed around the House chamber.
Related: Marjorie Taylor Greene apologizes for 'offensive' comments
Gallego, an Iraq War veteran, was part of one of the more memorable images of that deadly when he was standing on a chair gesturing to other House members. He has said he helped people find and fit gas masks as they fled the chamber.
The Twitter matter might have ended there, but Newsweek wrote about Gallego's uncivil tweet, bringing his words to Greene's attention.
That brought forth another tweet from her in which she ripped Gallego and defended Republicans on Jan. 6.
"I didn’t even know about your dumb tweet until (Newsweek's) fake news piece but I guess this is how you get attention," she wrote. "While you were hiding with your little pen, brave Republican MEN were helping police hold the door, so that ALL of us could get out safely. Coward."
I didn’t even know about your dumb tweet until @Newsweek’s fake news piece but I guess this is how you get attention.
While you were hiding with your little pen, brave Republican MEN were helping police hold the door, so that ALL of us could get out safely.
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) May 4, 2021
Nine minutes later, Gallego responded with a pair of remarks that alluded to the February vote by Democrats to strip Greene of her committee assignments after news that she "liked" on Facebook a 2019 comment that suggested House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., should be executed. Greene also has reacted approvingly to a range of cultural conspiracies, including QAnon.
Gallego noted that it was laughable hearing her complain about someone getting attention.
"There were many heroes in the House of Representatives that day, I don’t have to prove myself," Gallego wrote.
"I would tweet back and forth with you but I have 2 committee assignments and a bill of mine is being marked. That we means it’s passing out of committee. (But you wouldn’t know about that)."
I would tweet back and forth with you but I have 2 committee assignments and a bill of mine is being marked. That we means it’s passing out of committee. (But you wouldn’t know about that)
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) May 4, 2021
Greene's short congressional career has intersected with Arizonans repeatedly already.
She is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, which is headed by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. And last month she was linked to a proposed nativist "America First Caucus" with Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., who has been a social media provocateur for years.
Both Greene and Gosar distanced themselves from the alleged caucus after it ignited an uproar from Democrats and Republican leaders.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona's Ruben Gallego spars with Marjorie Taylor Greene on Twitter