In yet another eyebrow-raising incident in Congress, former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy was just accused of throwing an elbow at a fellow Republican on Tuesday during an altercation, hitting him in the kidney and then quickly skedaddling.
Claudia Grisales, a Congressional correspondent for NPR, highlighted the absolutely shocking incident in a series of posts on X, claiming that the incident involved not only Rep. Burchett being elbowed in the kidney by Rep. McCarthy and then chasing him down the hallway while yelling at him and calling him a coward.
Grisales claimed, “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…”
She continued, “Burchett’s back was to McCarthy and his detail walking by in the hallway, then the lunge. Burchett responded jokingly as McCarthy kept walking, “Sorry Kevin didn’t mean to elbow –” then seriously yelled, ‘why’d you elbow me in the back Kevin?! Hey Kevin, you got any guts!?‘”
Grisales next claimed, “Burchett then looked back at me and said, “jerk” referring to McCarthy. I asked if he had done that before, Burchett said “no.” That’s when the chase ensued. Burchett took off after McCarthy and his detail. I chased behind with my mic. @RepTimBurchett yelled after catching up to McCarthy, “Hey Kevin, why’d you walk behind me and elbow me in the back?” KM: “I didn’t elbow you in the back.” Burchett: “You got no guts, you did so, …the reporter said it right there, what kind of chicken move is that…” Burchett con’t: “You got no guts, you did so, …the reporter said it right there, what kind of chicken move is that? You’re pathetic man, you are so pathetic.” Burchett starts to walk away from McCarthy, tells me, “What a jerk,” and then yells back, ‘You need security Kevin!‘”
Then Grisales claimed, “Burchett tells me that’s the first point of “communication” with McCarthy since Burchett voted for McCarthy’s ouster as speaker last month: “That’s just it” for communication since ouster vote, “He’s just a jerk. He’s just a childish little…” Burchett adds, “did you just see that?” he asks in disbelief. I’m stunned, too. Says he won’t follow up with McCarthy on what happened, “he’s on a downhill spiral… he just, that was pretty gutless of him. I’m disappointed in his, in him.” Burchett reiterates he hasn’t talked to McCarthy since he voted against him. ‘No, no that was it. That’s it. He’s got $17 million to work against me. And he’s just a — he should have kept his word. I think that just showed what he’s about and it’s unfortunate.'”
Rep. McCarthy, for his part, strenuously denied the allegations, saying, “I would not hit him in the kidney. HC5, you’re all down there, right? Not a very big hallway. So I’m walking out, and you can talk to Bruce Westerman, ’cause I actually called him after you guys reported something and said, ‘Did I hit somebody?’ Bruce Westerman and I were walking out. I guess a reporter was interviewing Burchett or something, I guess our shoulders hit because Burchett runs up to me after. I didn’t know what he was talking about. Some reporters asked me. I did not run and hit the guy, I did not kidney punch him, or anything like that.”
Then, when asked if he pushed Rep. Burchett, Rep. McCarthy said, “No! We were walking through. You were at HC5, right? You guys line up along the way there, it was Bruce Westerman and I walking out, he must have been interviewing with someone, I didn’t know it was him or someone. I guess our elbows hit as I walked by. I didn’t punch anybody. I guess it happened, because when I was walking back further, someone was interviewing me or talking to me, and he comes running up like, ‘Why did you hit me?’ Or something like that. I said, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ I didn’t even know something transpired.”
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