McCarthy fires back at reporter who asks why Democrats were kicked off committees but Santos seated

Kevin McCarthy fires back at reporter who asked why he kicked Democrats Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell off the House Intelligence Committee but allowed Long Island liar George Santos to keep his committee assignments

  • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy got into a heated back-and-forth with a reporter Tuesday 
  • PBS NewsHour’s Lisa Desjardins asked how he could remove Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee 
  • Desjardins noted how ‘lying to us’ was a factor to remove Democrats, but then asked how serial liar, Republican Rep. George Santos, was allowed to serve 
  • McCarthy answered that it was because ‘the Intel Committee is different’  

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy fired back at a reporter Tuesday who asked how he could remove Democrats from the Intelligence Committee, but allow embattled Republican Rep. George Santos to keep his committee assignments. 

‘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,’ McCarthy told PBS NewsHour’s Lisa Desjardins. 

Desjardins had pressed McCarthy on how ‘lying to us’ was a factor to remove Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee, but Santos making up his entire backstory didn’t count against the New York Republican. 

McCarthy pushed back that Schiff, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Swalwell would still be able to serve on other committees, just not those charged with the nation’s secrets. 

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy fired back at a reporter Tuesday who asked how he could remove Democrats from the Intelligence Committee, but allow embattled Republican Rep. George Santos to keep his committee assignments

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy fired back at a reporter Tuesday who asked how he could remove Democrats from the Intelligence Committee, but allow embattled Republican Rep. George Santos to keep his committee assignments

Rep. Adam Schiff

Rep. Eric Swalwell

McCarthy booted Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff (left) and Eric Swalwell (right) from the House Intelligence Committee, tussling with a reporter over the decision Tuesday, saying the decision was made for ‘national security’ reasons 

‘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,’ McCarthy reasoned. ‘So you know what? I respect his voters too and they’ll serve on committees. But they will not serve on a place that has national security ramifications because integrity matters to me.’ 

CNN reported that Schiff will serve on the House Judiciary Committee, while Swalwell told the network he would sit on the Judiciary and House Homeland Security committees. 

‘I will not be like Democrats and play politics with these. Where they removed Republicans from committees and all committees,’ McCarthy also said. 

During the last Congress, Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar were stripped of all their committee assignments after they shared social media posts that threatened violence on Democrats including then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 

They were removed from committees using a floor vote. 

McCarthy was able to unilaterally take Schiff and Swalwell off the Intelligence Committee. Removals from other committees will also take a floor vote. 

During his spat with Desjardins, McCarthy pointed to Schiff’s role in Russiagate during the Trump years and said the California Democrat ‘lied to the American public’ about the legitimacy about Hunter Biden’s laptop while serving as Intelligence Committee chair in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. 

‘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?’ McCarthy said.  

‘And if you want to talk about Swalwell, let’s talk about Swalwell,’ McCarthy continued. ‘Because you have not had the briefing that I have.’

McCarthy charged that he and Pelosi were briefed by the FBI over Swalwell’s entanglement with a Chinese spy, but not until the California Democrat became a member of the Intelligence Committee, where he’d have access to classified information. 

Santos – branded the Long Island liar for the bevvy of mistruths he’s told about his backstory – was named to the Committee on Small Business and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. 

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