Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) again accused former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) of “shoulder-checking” him twice in the Capitol, reinforcing claims from Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) that McCarthy elbowed him in the hallway this week.
Kinzinger discussed his relationship with McCarthy in his book “Renegade” and spoke about the incidents again Friday in an interview with CNN.
“Wham! I get shoulder-checked. Never had that happen on the floor of the House,” Kinzinger said. “I turn, and Kevin McCarthy is already walking past me.”
“What a child?!” Kinzinger said of the former Speaker after a second incident weeks later.
Burchett, one of the eight GOP members to vote McCarthy out of the Speakership last month, said McCarthy elbowed him in a Capitol hallway Tuesday. Burchett, who was talking to reporters at the time, chased down the former Speaker and questioned the move.
McCarthy denied intentionally hitting Burchett, to the Tennessee congressman’s ire.
“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.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), an outspoken rival of McCarthy who filed the motion to oust him from the leadership role, filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee after the incident.
When told about the complaint, McCarthy quipped “Oh, good,” adding, “I think Ethics is a good place for Gaetz to be.”