Kevin McCarthy Pushes Back on Reporter Questioning Decision to Remove Schiff and Swalwell From Intel Committee
“What did Adam Schiff do as the Chairman of the Intel Committee? What Adam Schiff did, use his power as the Chairman and lie to the American public.”
When Kevin McCarthy ran for Speaker of the House, he promised to remove Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell, Democrats from California, from the House Intelligence Committee.
He kept that promise, and some media members are questioning the decision. On Tuesday, McCarthy was questioned by PBS reporter Lisa Desjardins, who kept dragging the issue of NY Republican George Santos into the mix. McCarthy had none of it.
FOX News reports:
McCarthy gets heated with reporter: ‘You don’t get to determine whether I answer a question’
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy got heated with a reporter Tuesday evening as he faced questions over his decision to kick two Democrats off the House Intelligence committee while allowing embattled Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., to take committee assignments.
During a press gaggle, McCarthy defended his decision to remove Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., from the intelligence panel, telling reporters that Swalwell had been compromised by a Chinese spy and should not receive intelligence briefings, while Schiff, according to McCarthy, had abused his authority by repeatedly lying to the American people.
However, a reporter pressed McCarthy on his decision to let Santos have committee assignments after the New York Republican was caught in several lies about his background, including fabricating his work and education. The reporter asked why Santos’ many lies were “not a factor.”
In the video below, you can hear McCarthy, but the audio for the journalist is very low.
Kevin Tober of NewsBusters provided a transcript:
DESJARDINS: This is a man who should not be on committees something you do have power over—
MCCARTHY: He’s got elected by his district—
DESJARDINS: That’s not an answer to my question. Why does lying—
MCCARTHY: Okay, let me be very clear and respectful to you. You asked me a question. When I answer it, it’s the answer to your question. You don’t get to determine whether I answer your question or not, okay? In all respect. Thank you.
MCCARTHY: You just raised a question, I’m going to be very clear with you. The Intel Committee is different. You know why? Because what happens in the Intel Committee, you don’t know. what happens in the Intel Committee, the secrets that are going on in the world, other members of Congress don’t know. What did Adam Schiff do as the Chairman of the Intel Committee? What Adam Schiff did, use his power as the Chairman and lie to the American public. Even the Inspector General said it. When Devin Nunes put out a memo, he said it was false. When we had a laptop, he used it before an election to be politics and say it was false and said it was the Russians.
When he knew different! When he knew the intel. If you talk to John Ratcliffe, DNI. He came out ahead of time and says there’s no intel to prove that and he used his position as Chairman knowing he has information the rest of America does not and lied to the American public. When a whistle-blower came forward, he said he did not know the individual even though his staff met with him and set it up. So no, he does not have a right to sit on that. But I will not be like Democrats and play politics with these. Where they removed Republicans from committees and all committees. So yes, he can serve on a committee but he will not serve on Intel. Because it goes to the national security of America, and I will always put them first. Alright?
And if you want to talk about Swalwell, let’s talk about Swalwell. Because you have not had the briefing that I had. I had the briefing and Nancy Pelosi had the briefing from the FBI. The FBI never came before this Congress to tell the leadership of this Congress that Eric Swalwell had a problem with a Chinese spy until he served on intel. So it wasn’t just us who were concerned about it, the FBI was concerned about putting a member of Congress on the Intel Committee that has the rights to see things that others don’t because of his knowledge and relationship with a Chinese spy. They brought it to the works of the leaders.
I’ve got that briefing, so I do not believe he should sit on there, that committee, and I believe there’s 200 other Democrats that can serve on that committee. So this has nothing to do with Santos. Santos is not on the Intel Committee. But you know what? Those voters elected Schiff, even though he lied. Those voters elected Swalwell, even though he lied to the American public too. So you know what? I’ll respect his voters too and they’ll serve on committees, but they will not serve on a place that has national security, because integrity matters to me. That’s the answer to your question!
Here’s the video:
Holy shit. Kevin McCarthy just absolutely destroyed a reporter who questioned his decision to remove Schiff and Swalwell from the intel committee.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 25, 2023
Stephen Kruiser of PJ Media called McCarthy’s performance as Speaker so far a pleasant surprise:
It’s nice to be pleasantly surprised. That kind of thing doesn’t happen often enough anymore. The bad surprises have been coming in waves since the beginning of 2020.
Kevin McCarthy’s brief tenure as Speaker of the House of Representatives has been a pleasant surprise so far. I feel like sending thank you notes to the 20 conservatives who held out to make him more … suggestible.
I knew that McCarthy would have to adapt and modify his behavior in response to the tussle for the gavel, so that’s not the surprise. What I’ve enjoyed to this point is that McCarthy seems to be enjoying himself. I had expected him to be a bit dourer and giving off a chastised-kid vibe. So far, he’s sinking his teeth into the modified speaker’s role.
Schiff and Swalwell are whining about this on Twitter:
Kevin McCarthy just kicked me and @RepSwalwell off the Intelligence Committee.
This is petty, political payback for investigating Donald Trump.
If he thinks this will stop me, he will soon find out just how wrong he is.
I will always defend our democracy.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 25, 2023
This rejection is based on a claim that the Washington Post independent-fact checker gave 4 Pinocchios. Speaker Boehner and Ryan, both Gang of 8 members, appointed me to Intel with access to the same facts McCarthy is distorting. He can keep me off Intel, but I’m not going away. https://t.co/YQZOVCSJpO
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) January 25, 2023
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