Kevin McCarthy Gets in Shoving Match with Tim Burchett


The California Republican Congressman who was removed as Speaker had a physical altercation with Rep. Tim Burchett, R.-Tenn., who was one of the eight House Republicans who voted with every House Democrat in order to end his tenure.

In a series of X posts, NPR Capitol Hill Reporter Claudia Grisales gave this account. It has been edited to maintain continuity and punctuation.

McCarthy, the former speaker of the House, was walking by with his staff when Burchett and McCarthy were talking after the GOP Conference Meeting. McCarthy shoved Burchett. Burchett lunged at me. It was not a joke. A chase followed. Burchett was facing McCarthy and his team as they walked by the hallway. Then, he lunged.

Burchett replied jokingly, as McCarthy continued walking, “Sorry Kevin, didn’t intend to elbow –“, then seriously yelled “Why did you elbow me in my back, Kevin?! Hey Kevin, do you have any guts?”

Burchett looked at me again and called McCarthy a “jerk”. Burchett replied “No” when I asked him if he’d done it before. The chase began. Burchett ran after McCarthy and his team. I followed behind with my microphone. Burchett shouted, after catching McCarthy up, “Hey Kevin! Why did you walk behind and elbow me at the back?”

KM: “I did not elbow you in your back.”

Burchett said: “You have no guts. You did it, the reporter told you right there. What kind of chicken move was that? You have no guts. The reporter has said that right there. What kind of chicken move is that? You are a pathetic man.

Burchett begins to walk away, telling me “What a jerk,” then yells, ‘You need protection, Kevin!’

Burchett says that this is the first “communication” Burchett has had with McCarthy since Burchett’s vote to remove McCarthy as speaker was cast last month. “That’s it” for communications since McCarthy’s removal, “He’s a jerk.” He’s a little childish.” Burchett continues: “Didn’t you just see it?” He asks, in disbelief. I’m stunned, too.”

Burchett said he wouldn’t follow up with McCarthy about what happened. “He’s in a downward spiral.” That was a pretty stupid thing to do. “I’m disappointed with him.”

Burchett says he hasn’t spoken to McCarthy since McCarthy voted against him. “No, that’s it. That’s it. He has $17 million at his disposal to use against me. He should have kept his promise. “I think it just showed his character and that’s unfortunate.”

Stephen K. Bannon interrupted his conversation with former Trump Administration official Kash Patel on Nov. 14, “The War Room”, to relay information that he received from his phone.

Bannon stated, “I believe they came close to fisticuffs. I’m not saying that it was a fisticuffs. But it was elbows and pushing.”

Patel asked Bannon whether either man could throw a punch.

“Well, Burchett I think he’s an older Tennessee guy.” He does. Bannon added, “Or pick up a fricking broom and hit you in the face.” “I believe McCarthy shoved him, or elbowed him and then Burchett chased him down the hallway and went after.

The leader of War Room Posse stated that he had expected to see video footage of the incident.

McCarthy’s temper is running high at the moment, he added.

Bannon said McCarthy continued to cause trouble within the Republican House Conference and with his successor Speaker Mike Johnson (R. La.). He’s over there. And he’s putting the knife in everyone because he says: “Hey you’re only doing one thing, which is to put up another CR, just as you did when you kicked me out. You have your Christian guy, but you aren’t doing anything.”

McCarthy told CNN that he was considering returning to public life and he’s still bitter over how Rep. Matt Gaetz, R.-Fla., led the effort to remove McCarthy as speaker. McCarthy also threw shade at Gaetz regarding an ethics issue Gaetz has denied repeatedly.

McCarthy claimed that Gaetz called for McCarthy to be removed and then backed Mike Johnson as speaker, just to end the ethics investigation.

“If the Ethics Committee never does anything to Gaetz, then Gaetz was successful in stopping probably what rightfully should come to him,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy demanded that Gaetz face “consequences”, accusing him of violating internal House GOP Conference Rules by calling the vote to remove Gaetz without the required support from Republicans. Johnson, however, does not seem to be moving in this direction.