‘Clean shot to the kidneys’: GOP lawmaker says McCarthy elbowed him in the back

A Tennessee lawmaker said the former House speaker elbowed him while walking down the hall on Tuesday. (Source: CNN)
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 11:37 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2023 at 12:31 PM CST
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(CNN) - The quarreling between Republican lawmakers is apparently getting physical.

Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett accused former House speaker Kevin McCarthy of elbowing him in the back while he was talking to a reporter on Tuesday.

“And it kind of caught me off guard because it was a clean shot to the kidneys, and I turned back and there was, there was Kevin and, um, and for a minute I was kind of, ‘What the heck just happened?’” he said.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy said the hallway where the alleged incident took place is small. (Source: CNN)

Burchett said he chased after McCarthy.

“Of course, he’s a, as I’ve stated many times ... he’s a bully with $17 million and a security detail,” he said. “You know, 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. ... It, you know, that’s not the way we handle things in East Tennessee.”

McCarthy denied the incident, saying, “I didn’t shove or elbow him. It’s a tight hallway.”

Rep. Tim Burchett said Rep. Kevin McCarthy elbowed him Tuesday while he was talking to a reporter. (Source: CNN)

Burchett, by the way, was one of the eight House Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy from his speakership.

Meanwhile, Rep. Matt Gaetz, another from the group that ousted the then-speaker, said he is filing a formal ethics complaint against McCarthy over the altercation.

Rep. Bruce Westerman, R - Ark., said he was present in the hallway. (Source: CNN)