‘I Can’t Believe You Asked That’: McCarthy Shuts Down Reporter Over Ilhan Omar Question On Committee Removal

Friday, February 3, 2023

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy shamed a D.C. reporter on Thursday over a suggestion that Republicans are hypocrites for removing Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee over repeated claims of anti-Semitism.

Following the House vote to remove her, the California Republican faced off with reporters who bombarded him with questions about the removal.

“Some Democrats are arguing that the difference between last Congress when they voted off those Republicans off committees and Omar and this vote is that there is a lack of accountability because they say that you, specifically, have not condemned Marjorie Taylor Greene or Paul Gosar. What is your reaction to that?” one reporter asked.

McCarthy appeared dumbfounded by the question, quickly noting that Omar’s removal was nothing close to being as bad as what Dems have done in the past to Republicans.

“They’re totally wrong. I can’t believe you asked that question. Think what you just asked, what you said,” McCarthy began.

“Every single Democrat voted to remove Marjorie Greene on something she said before she ever came to Congress. So they wanted to override what the American people in her district decided. Then they remove [Paul] Gosar from every single place,” he added.

“Now they get upset. They want to fight really hard to keep a member of their conference who had a relationship with a Chinese spy on the Intel Committee,” said the Speaker, referring to Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). “I can’t believe they would even defend that. Then they want to defend [Adam] Schiff, who lied to the American people. Then they want to defend Omar.

“I’m not removing any of them from all committees like they did [to Republicans],” McCarthy explained. “They cheered when they did that!”

Another reporter made a reference to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who accused Republicans of hypocrisy because Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is seated on committees.

“Is [Greene] on Foreign Affairs? Is she on Intel? OK, I make my case,” he said.

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Last week, 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.

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