‘Clean shot to the kidneys’: McCarthy allegedly assaults Rep Burchett in Capitol hallway, foot chase ensues

Drama unfolded in a Capitol hallway on Tuesday as one Republican lawmaker accused a colleague of delivering a “clean shot to the kidneys” as he passed by.

U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) was speaking with a reporter when former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) walked by and evidently “elbowed” him in the back. The incident created a momentary exchange followed by a pursuit as Burchett chased McCarthy with NPR reporter Claudia Grisales in tow.

The Tennessee congressman, who was one of eight Republicans who voted to remove McCarthy as speaker last month, spoke with CNN’s Manu Raju afterward, calling out his colleague for the “sucker punch” he delivered.

Grisales posted that she had “NEVER seen this on Capitol Hill,” as she described what happened in a series of tweets Tuesday.

“While talking to @RepTimBurchett after the GOP conference meeting, former @SpeakerMcCarthy walked by with his detail and McCarthy shoved Burchett. Burchett lunged towards me. I thought it was a joke, it was not. And a chase ensued…,” she wrote.

“Burchett’s back was to McCarthy and his detail walking by in the hallway, then the lunge. Burchett responded jokingly as McCarthy kept walking, ‘Sorry Kevin didn’t mean to elbow –‘ then seriously yelled, ‘why’d you elbow me in the back Kevin?! Hey Kevin, you got any guts!?'” the reporter recounted.

“Burchett then looked back at me and said, ‘jerk’ referring to McCarthy. I asked if he had done that before, Burchett said ‘no,'” Grisales continued. “That’s when the chase ensued. Burchett took off after McCarthy and his detail. I chased behind with my mic.”

After catching up to McCarthy, Burchett reportedly said, “Hey Kevin, why’d you walk behind me and elbow me in the back?”

“I didn’t elbow you in the back,” McCarthy had replied, according to Grisales who documented the happenings on X.

“You got no guts, you did so, …the reporter said it right there, what kind of chicken move is that…” Burchett responded. “You got no guts, you did so, …the reporter said it right there, what kind of chicken move is that? You’re pathetic man, you are so pathetic.”

Walking away from the former speaker, Burchett reportedly told Grisales, “What a jerk,” before yelling back to his GOP colleague, “You need security Kevin!”

Burchett evidently was stunned by the encounter as was the reporter who noted that he told her this was “the first point of ‘communication’ “with McCarthy since the historic vote to strip him of the speaker’s gavel.

“No, no that was it. That’s it. He’s got $17 million to work against me. And he’s just a — he should have kept his word. I think that just showed what he’s about and it’s unfortunate,” Burchett concluded.

The Tennessee lawmaker spoke with Manu Raju about the encounter as well, recounting how he “got elbowed in the back.”

“It kind of caught me off guard because it was a clean shot to the kidneys,” he continued, adding that he chased after the GOP lawmaker.

“He is a bully with $17 million and a security detail. He is the type of guy that when you are a kid, he would throw a rock over the fence and run home to hide behind his mama’s skirt.”

The 59-year-old congressman explained that he backed off McCarthy after he denied doing anything, adding “everybody saw it,” despite McCarthy’s denial and saying it was “symptomatic of the problems he’s had in his short tenure as speaker.”

“I raised my voice to him,” he added, telling Raju he didn’t “expect someone who was one time three steps away from the White House to hit you with a sucker punch in the hallway.”

“I’m probably not going to do an ethics complaint on him. He’s not worth it,” Burchett added.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, high on the list of those McCarthy is angry with as the Florida Republican effectively led the charge to oust him as speaker, was among the many who reacted to reports of the incident on X.


If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to American Wire News to help us fight them.

Thank you for your donation!
Frieda Powers


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles