Kevin McCarthy broke with Marjorie Taylor Greene's position on the death of Ashli Babbitt.
After Greene claimed Capitol rioter Babbitt was "murdered" on January 6, McCarthy disagreed.
It's an early sign of a crack in the pair's alliance that helped McCarthy become House speaker.
Cracks have formed in the alliance between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene over the death of Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt.
Greene cast Babbitt's death after being shot by a Capitol Police officer as "murder" during a meeting of the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday.
Greene pivoted to Babbitt's case during a discussion of the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who died after being beaten by several Memphis police officers during a traffic stop in early January.
Five officers have been charged with murdering Nichols. Police released disturbing bodycam footage of his death on January 27. On Tuesday, Greene acknowledged the "tragic" nature of the video.
But she went on to make a direct comparison to Babbitt's death, saying: "There's a woman in this room whose daughter was murdered on January 6, Ashli Babbitt.
"And Ashli Babbitt has — there's never been a trial. As a matter of fact, no one has cared about the person that shot and killed her."
Greene tweeted footage of her statement, misspelling Babbitt's name:
—Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) January 31, 2023
Asked about those comments during a Thursday news conference, McCarthy said: "I think the police officer did his job."
The Department of Justice closed its investigation into Babbitt's death in April 2021, saying there were insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges. Later that year, an internal Capitol Police probe exonerated the officer, as NBC News first reported.
Former President Donald Trump also weighed in late on Thursday, lashing out at McCarthy for his assessment, while calling the officer in question a "THUG" and adding: "ASHLI BABBITT WAS MURDERED!!!"
McCarthy's refusal to back this stance is an apparent break in the alliance formed in recent months between him, Trump, and Greene, in which the latter pair steadfastly supported his tortuous bid to become speaker.
Greene's support for McCarthy strained her relationship with fellow hard-right GOP colleagues like Reps. Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert.
But McCarthy appears to have appreciated it. After receiving the nomination, he told a friend in January: "I will never leave that woman," according to The New York Times. "I will always take care of her," he reportedly added.
Greene was later added to two of the most high-profile committee seats: the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Oversight Committee.
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