Published On: Wed, Nov 15th, 2023

GOP Rep. Tim Burchett accuses Kevin McCarthy of elbowing him in the kidneys, ex-speaker denies it


By Annie Grayer and Melanie Zanona, CNN

GOP Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee accused former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of elbowing him in the kidneys Tuesday morning while Burchett was talking to a reporter, the latest sign of how tense the dynamics are in the House GOP conference.

Burchett, who was one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy, has been heavily critical of the former speaker and the alleged altercation is indicative of the pressure cooker dynamics in the House GOP right now.

Burchett criticized McCarthy for being a “bully” as he described his altercation with the former House GOP leader where he says McCarthy elbowed him in the kidneys while he was talking to a reporter in the hallway outside the GOP conference meeting.

“I got elbowed in the back and it kind of caught me off guard because it was a clean shot to the kidneys. And I turned back (and) there, there was Kevin, and for a minute I was kind of, what the heck just happened and then chased after him of course,” Burchett told CNN’s Manu Raju, adding, “Now he’s the type of guy that when you’re a kid would throw a rock over the fence and run home and hide behind his mama’s skirt.”

Burchett said that he went after the former speaker to confront him about the altercation but said McCarthy brushed him off. He added that he “raised his voice” and that McCarthy responded to him with “that high pitched kind of thing.”

“Of course, as he always … does, he just denies it or blames somebody else or something. And and it was just a little heated. But I just backed off because – I saw no reason. I wasn’t gaining anything from it. Everybody saw it. So it didn’t really matter,” he told CNN…

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