Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) alleges that Rep. Kevin McCarthy displayed inappropriate behavior for his position by intentionally elbowing him in a congressional hallway, as reported by Fox News.
Burchett, who played a role in leading efforts to remove McCarthy from his Speaker of the House position, described McCarthy’s actions as a “cheap shot from behind.”
According to Burchett, the physical contact was intentional, recalling, “It was 100% on purpose.” He asserted that the unexpected bump caused him to fall forward and noted the coincidence that only eight members of Congress voted against McCarthy, and he was one of them.
Shortly after the incident, Burchett voiced his frustration with McCarthy while speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill.
McCarthy countered that the contact was accidental and occurred in a crowded hallway. However, Burchett disagreed, emphasizing that there was ample space in the hallway for both to walk side by side, yet McCarthy chose otherwise.
Expressing sympathy, Burchett stated, “I feel sorry for him, and I pray for him every day.” Despite the disagreement, he added, “You might not believe that, but I do, and I hope he finds some happiness in his life.”
Burchett concluded by expressing disappointment, stating, “You don’t expect that sort of thing from an adult, certainly not one who was once third in line for the White House.” Reflecting on the incident, he insisted that McCarthy’s actions were deliberate.
BREAKING NEWS: Kevin McCarthy has been accused of assaulting a fellow Republican lawmaker.— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) November 14, 2023
The situation played out just steps away from reporter Claudia Grisales who reports that:
As McCarthy and his detail walked past Tennessee Republican Tim Burchett, Burchett claimed… pic.twitter.com/NCnY6Aonla
Reiterating his stance, Burchett stated, “I’m willing to undergo a polygraph test, and I challenge Kevin to do the same,” addressing reporters.
“[The results of the polygraph tests will demonstrate] that it was intentional,” Burchett continued.
Describing the incident as “just a cheap shot by a bully,” Burchett expressed his perspective on McCarthy’s actions.
When questioned about the possibility of filing an ethics complaint, Burchett conveyed that he wouldn’t pursue further action against McCarthy. He enigmatically suggested that the former Speaker might “cash in” after Christmas.
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Elaborating on this point, Burchett clarified, “I don’t find it acceptable. Ethics complaints can drag on for years, and he’ll be leaving after Christmas. As I mentioned, he has $17 million and a security detail, yet he’ll still act like a bully.”
Burchett acknowledged internal divisions among House Republicans but noted that such divisions have existed for a long time. He remarked, “It’s the way it’s always been. We’re not resorting to duels here. There have been duels and fistfights in the past and everything else. It’s just human nature.”