Rep. Kevin McCarthy finally responded to accusations that he punched Rep. Tim Burchett in the back. He denied it.
However, there were witnesses. One was NPR reporter Claudia Grisales. Grisales said that Burchett almost fell into her as they stood in the hallway.
She said, “It was pretty stunning. I felt like I could see an elbow retracting back from McCarthy after.”
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
In a press conference, McCarthy claimed, “I guess our shoulders hit. I did not run and hit the guy. I did not kidney punch him.”
“I would not hit him in the kidney. HC5, you’re all down there, right? Not a very big hallway,” he said in response to a question by CNN reporter Manu Raju. “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.”
Another reporter asked him, “You didn’t shove him?”
“No! We were walking through. You were at HC5, right?” McCarthy asked in return. “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.”
Raju shot back, “But reporters and witnesses said it looked like there was plenty of room for you to walk and that you intentionally hit him.”
“There is, OK, not a place — show me a reporter who saw that! Call Bruce Westerman! No, ask Bruce Westerman. I did not go up — If I would hit somebody, they would know I hit them.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz filed ethics charges against McCarthy over the incident.
Does anyone believe McCarthy?
Kevin McCarthy sounds like a man who was caught red-handed hitting Tim Burchett.
“I guess our shoulders hit. I did not run and hit the guy. I did not kidney punch him.”
Reporter immediately grills McCarthy over his claims. pic.twitter.com/h9HpUqfOz6
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) November 14, 2023