McCarthy Accused Of Shoving Republican Who Helped Oust Him As Speaker

( – Republican Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett accused California Rep. Kevin McCarthy of shoving him in a Capitol Hill hallway on Nov. 14, adding that McCarthy took a “cheap shot from behind.”

Burchett, who voted to remove McCarthy as speaker, alleged that McCarthy’s actions seemed to be “deliberate.” Burchett said that as McCarthy walked by him, he “elbowed me in the kidneys.” In an interview after the incident, Burchett said that you don’t expect that kind of behavior from someone “who was once third in line for the White House.”

Burchett called McCarthy’s actions a “cheap shot by a bully.”

Burchett linked the incident to the fact that he was one of eight members of the House to vote against McCarthy remaining as Speaker of the House. Burchett stated, “There’s plenty of room” in the hallway. He added that McCarthy “chose to do what he did.”

NPR reporter Claudia Grisales was interviewing Burchett when the alleged incident occurred. She stated that she “thought it was a joke,” adding that once Burchett chased after McCarthy, she realized it was not. According to NPR audio posted of the incident, Burchett chased after McCarthy and asked him why he elbowed him, adding, “You got any guts?” McCarthy stated that he did not elbow Burchett and acted like he did not know what Burchett was talking about.

After the incident, McCarthy told reporters that “if I were to hit somebody, they would know I hit them.” He stated that he may have bumped shoulders with Burchett, but he “did not kidney punch him.”

Burchett said he would not be taking any action, such as a House ethics complaint, against McCarthy.

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who led the effort to remove McCarthy as speaker, also commented on the incident. He stated that there has been a “substantial increase in breaches of decorum” in this Congress. He then called for a House Ethics Committee investigation into McCarthy’s alleged behavior.

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