Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday faced off against a reporter for removing Democrats from the House Intelligence Committee while allowing controversial Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., to sit on other House committees.
Upon the news that Democrat Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, both of California, were removed from the Intelligence Committee, PBS reporter Lisa Desjardins questioned McCarthy on how he could square those actions with allowing Santos to serve on House committees after being caught in multiple lies.
“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 began.
“This is a man who should not be on committees,” she insisted.
McCarthy pushed back: “Let me be very clear and respectful to you. 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 Republican leader brought up Schiff’s push of the Russia collusion scandal as a reason for not allowing him back on the House Intelligence Committee.
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 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.”
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