Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) told CNN that Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) elbowed him as the former House Speaker walked by after a House Republican conference meeting.

Burchett, one of the eight House Republicans who voted to remove McCarthy as Speaker, said the hit was a “clean shot to the kidneys.”

“I chased after him, of course!” Burchett commented.

“As I’ve stated many times, he’s a bully with $17 million and a security detail. He’s the type of guy that when you’re a kid would throw a rock over the fence and run home to hide behind his momma’s skirt,” he said.


NPR reporter Claudia Grisales said she has 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,” Grisales wrote.

Burchett’s back was to McCarthy and his detail walking by in the hallway, then the lunge. Burchett responded jokingly as McCarthy kept walking, ‘Sorry Kevin didn’t mean to elbow –‘ then seriously yelled, ‘why’d you elbow me in the back Kevin?! Hey Kevin, you got any guts!?'” she added.

“Burchett then looked back at me and said, ‘jerk’ referring to McCarthy. I asked if he had done that before, Burchett said ‘no.’ That’s when the chase ensued. Burchett took off after McCarthy and his detail. I chased behind with my mic,” she continued.

“@RepTimBurchett yelled after catching up to McCarthy, ‘Hey Kevin, why’d you walk behind me and elbow me in the back?’ KM: ‘I didn’t elbow you in the back.’ Burchett: ‘You got no guts, you did so, …the reporter said it right there, what kind of chicken move is that…'” she added.

“Burchett con’t: ‘You got no guts, you did so, …the reporter said it right there, what kind of chicken move is that? You’re pathetic man, you are so pathetic.’ Burchett starts to walk away from McCarthy, tells me, ‘What a jerk,’ and then yells back, ‘You need security Kevin!'” she continued.

“Burchett tells me that’s the first point of ‘communication’ with McCarthy since Burchett voted for McCarthy’s ouster as speaker last month: ‘That’s just it’ for communication since ouster vote, ‘He’s just a jerk. He’s just a childish little…'” she added.

“Burchett adds, ‘did you just see that?’ he asks in disbelief. I’m stunned, too. Says he won’t follow up with McCarthy on what happened, ‘he’s on a downhill spiral… he just, that was pretty gutless of him. I’m disappointed in his, in him,'” she continued.

“Burchett reiterates he hasn’t talked to McCarthy since he voted against him. ‘No, no that was it. That’s it. He’s got $17 million to work against me. And he’s just a — he should have kept his word. I think that just showed what he’s about and it’s unfortunate,'” she added.

The Hill reports:

In remarks to reporters later, McCarthy denied elbowing the congressman. But Burchett is not backing down.


“I was standing there and McCarthy elbowed me in the back,” Burchett told reporters after the encounter.

“I said, ‘Hey, what the heck would you do that for?’ And he acted like, ‘Oh, I didn’t do anything, you know, and he’s just, he needs to go home back to Southern California,” Burchett said.

Burchett is one of the eight GOP lawmakers who voted to oust McCarthy from the Speakership.

McCarthy has been generous in his criticism of the lawmakers since being booted from the top chair, particularly Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who led the effort to oust the Speaker last month.

In an interview with CNN several days ago, McCarthy said he thinks House Republicans would benefit “tremendously” if Gaetz was no longer a member.

“He’ll admit to you personally is he doesn’t have a conservative bent in his philosophy and just the nature of what he focuses on,” McCarthy said, adding “people have to earn the right to be here.”

Pressed about Burchett and Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), who also voted to oust McCarthy, the former Speaker said both “care a lot about press not about policy.”

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