McCarthy Denies Physical Altercation Allegation
Former House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) finally responded to the physical altercation allegations that have been levied against him.
Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN), in an interview on CNN, claimed McCarthy elbowed him in the kidney while he was doing an interview on NPR. The Tennessee lawmaker, who was one of eight House Republicans who voted with Democrats to oust McCarthy as House speaker, claimed his California colleague gave him a “clean shot to the kidney.”
McCarthy, while speaking on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” denied the accusation and told host Maria Bartiromo that no one was punched.
Have NEVER seen this on Capitol Hill:
While talking to @RepTimBurchett after the GOP conference meeting, former @SpeakerMcCarthy walked by with his detail and McCarthy shoved Burchett. Burchett lunged towards me. I thought it was a joke, it was not. And a chase ensued…
— Claudia Grisales (@cgrisales) November 14, 2023
“No, not at all. This is a narrow hallway. We were in a conference with 200 people. You’ve got the press all standing there, walking out, talking to other members. Just don’t take my word for it. Take to the members that were next to me and behind me. If anyone got bumped, it was not intentional. Just a crowded hallway where everybody’s walking out at one time. Nobody got punched, nobody got hit, and some people wanna make press out of nothing. If somebody got bumped because of a narrow hallway — it happens all the time — it was not intentional. I know no one got punched in the process. You can talk to the members behind me and around me.”
Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) has also claimed that he had a similar encounter with McCarthy on two occasions. Kinzinger, while speaking on Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead,” said the former speaker shoulder-checked him twice during his time as a House member.
Kinzinger says McCarthy “shoulder checked” him twice while walking past him pic.twitter.com/20nR7087TC
— Acyn (@Acyn) November 17, 2023
“Yeah, twice,” Kinzinger said of the physical altercation between him and McCarthy. “I’m kind of standing in the back of the House, leaning over that gold railing, just kind of watching what’s going on, talking to people that walked by. And I get – wham! – I get shoulder-checked. Never had that happened on the floor of the House. And I turn, and Kevin McCarthy’s already passed me. And my initial reaction is that we’re friends, and I’m like, wait, we haven’t been friends in a year. That was serious. Then three weeks later, we were passing each other basically on the same walkway in the House, and he shoulder checks me again, like when are you in fourth grade? And it was just like, what a child.”