Marjorie Taylor Greene, the firebrand Republican congresswoman, told a British television journalist to “go back to your country” after being challenged over American gun laws.
The Georgia representative was incensed by questions posed by Siobhan Kennedy, of Channel 4, during a press conference held by the Second Amendment caucus, a group of Republicans hostile to the imposition of gun restrictions.
With emotions still running high after last month’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which claimed the lives of 19 children and two adults, Kennedy challenged America’s lax gun laws.
“We don't have guns in the UK, that is true, but we don't have mass shootings either. And our children aren't scared to go to school,” she said.
Incensed, Ms Taylor Greene snapped back: “You have mass stabbings, lady. You have all kinds of murder and you've got laws against that.”
The journalist quickly replied: “Not like the rates here.”
Still angry, Ms Taylor Greene retorted: “Well, you can go back to your country and worry about your no guns.”
She continued her onslaught on Twitter:
Kennedy responded online:
According to the latest official figures, for the year ending in March 2021 there were 224 homicides in Britain in which knives or bottles were used.
In the US, statistics compiled by the Gun Violence Archive showed that nearly 21,000 people were shot dead last year.
The incident with the British journalist was not the first time Ms Taylor Greene has courted controversy over her defence of the right of Americans to bear arms. Before entering Congress, she was caught on video confronting David Hogg, a survivor of the February 2018 Parkland school shooting in which 17 people died, as he approached the US Capitol.
By honing in on Britain’s knife crime problem, Ms Taylor Greene mirrored a criticism previously levelled by Donald Trump.
After a spate of stabbings in London in 2019, Mr Trump rounded on Sadiq Khan, the capital’s mayor, calling him a “stone-cold loser”.