As he bid farewell to Capitol Hill on Thursday, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called out Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) who spearheaded his removal from the top leadership spot in the House in October. Speaking to reporters, the former House Speaker called Gaetz “psychotic.”
Kevin McCarthy takes parting shot at Matt Gaetz as he exits Congress: 'He was psychotic' https://t.co/GiYNd4AQy4
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“People study that type of crazy mind, right? Mainly the FBI,” McCarthy added, referring to Gaetz’s actions to get him removed from his speakership position.
He also warned that Gaetz’s actions, even though it was successful in ousting him, might get the Florida Congressman expelled from the House after the ethics report on his conduct is concluded.
“Gaetz is now fundraising on that he’s going to be expelled. He’s doing everything he can to make sure [the report] doesn’t come down,” he stated.
McCarthy has claimed that Gaetz’s move against him was out of spite for not putting a stop to a Department of Justice investigation into Gaetz on misuse of funds and misconduct.
During Thursday’s interview with reporters, McCarthy also said that all eight representatives who joined House Democrats to vote him out might have him to contend with during the next election as he said he could fund challengers to their reelection bid.
“I’ve got a good chunk a money. I’ve got probably the best fundraising team out there,” he added.
McCarthy and Gaetz have had a strained relationship since October, with the two often throwing jabs at each other. Even before new Speaker (R-LA) was elected to take McCarthy’s place, the California lawmaker frequently took swipes at Gaetz.
In November, he told Politico that Gaetz “belongs in jail” when responding to a question about House Republicans from Florida.
As he put it, “You have a cross-section [of the delegation]. You have Gaetz, who belongs in jail, and you have serious members,” he stated.
In retaliation, Gaetz told the outlet, “The only assault I committed was against Kevin’s fragile ego,” adding that McCarthy’s remarks were “tough words from a guy who sucker punches people in the back.”
He was referring to McCarthy’s alleged elbowing of Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN), who was one of the eight people who voted in favor of the resolution to remove McCarthy.