WATCH: McCarthy Puts Reporter In Her Place During Heated Exchange Over Removing Dems From Committee

WATCH: McCarthy Puts Reporter In Her Place During Heated Exchange Over Removing Dems From Committee

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy ripped into a PBS reporter who refused to accept his answer as to why he removed two Democrats from the sensitive Intelligence Committee while seating controversial Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) on a separate committee.

PBS reporter Lisa Desjardins asked the California Republican how he could justify removing Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, both of whom are also from California, while allowing Santos to have a committee assignment despite his history of embellishing and lying about various aspects of his life.

“You said that lying to us is something that means you should be removed from the Intel Committee. But why is it not a factor [for Santos]?” Desjardins asked.

Well, let me be very-” McCarthy started to respond.

“This is a man who should not be on committees,” Desjardins interjected.

“Let me be very clear and respectful to you,” McCarthy pushed back. “You ask 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? With all respect, thank you. No, no. Let’s answer her question.”

“You just raised the question. I will be very clear with you. The Intel Committee is different, well, you know why? Because what happens in the Intel Committee, you don’t know. What happens in the Intel committee, other secrets are going on the world, other members of Congress don’t know,” McCarthy said.


The speaker noted further that Schiff repeatedly pushed false claims that former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to ‘steal’ the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton, even claiming to have evidence that did not exist.

As chair of the Intelligence Committee, McCarthy told reporters Schiff used “his power as a chairman and lied to the American public. Even the inspector general said it. When Devin Nunes put out a memo, [Schiff] said it was false” when it wasn’t.

“When we had a laptop, he used it before an election to [play] politics and say that it was false and said it was the Russians when he knew different, when he knew the Intel … He used his position as chairman, knowing he has information the rest of America does not, and lied to the American public,” McCarthy continued.

He added that Schiff will be serving on other committees and that Santos is not on the Intelligence panel.

“So, no, [Schiff] does not have a right to sit on it. 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,” McCarthy answered.

Regarding Swalwell, McCarthy said his past scandal in which he compromised himself with a close relationship with a Chinese spy, made him ineligible to serve on such a sensitive committing, telling reporters, “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 the Chinese spy until he served on Intel,” McCarthy continued.

“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,” he said.

“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 respect his voters, too, and they’ll serve on committees, but they will not serve on a place that has national security relevance because integrity matters to me. That’s the answer to your question,” McCarthy concluded.


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