Kinzinger levies shoulder-checking allegations against McCarthy following incident with Burchett

In his latest sad attempt to remain relevant, former GOP congressman Adam Kinzinger offered up his take on the incident in which Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) allegedly elbowed Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) in the halls of Congress earlier this week.

According to Rep. Burchett, who is one of the GOP lawmakers who helped to oust McCarthy from his brief gig as Speaker of the House, the California Republican landed what he described as a “clean shot to the kidneys” in an exchange witnessed by an NPR reporter.

In doing what he does best by whining about a fellow Republican, the disgraced Trump-hating member of the now-defunct January 6 committee told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he too was a victim of the ex-speaker’s physicality, claiming that he was twice “shoulder-checked” by McCarthy.

During an appearance on Friday’s edition of “The Lead With Jake Tapper,” Kinzinger – who is now employed by the cable network – hawked his new book which is humbly titled “Renegade: Defending Democracy and Liberty in Our Divided Country” that came out last month.

(Video: CNN)

“This week a Republican lawmaker accused former Speaker Kevin McCarthy of giving him a ‘sucker’ elbow in his kidneys,” Tapper said to his fellow whiner, making motions with his body in the form of elbowing and shouldering. “In the book you write about physical altercations with McCarthy, not really altercations but times that he kind of… well, tell us what happened.”

“Yes, Twice,” Kinzinger said. “So imagine just I’m kind of standing in the back of the House, leaning over that gold railing just kind of watching what’s going on, talking to people that walked by, and I get WHAM! I get shoulder-checked. Never had that happened on the floor of the House.”

And I turn and Kevin McCarthy’s already passed me, and my initial reaction is that we’re friends and I’m like, wait, we haven’t been friends in a year, that was serious,” the ex-lawmaker continued. “And then like three weeks later, we’re passing each other basically on that same walkway in the House and he leans over and shoulder checks me again, like when you’re in fourth grade.”

“And it was just like, what a child,” Kinzinger added. “And so the interesting thing is, what are the chances that I write about this in a book, it comes out, he does it to this guy from Tennessee, and then he’s saying like, ‘It was an accident.’ Like that’s never happened to me from anybody else.”

CNN’s Manu Raju caught up with Burchett outside the Capitol after the incident which took place last Tuesday.

“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 congressman said of McCarthy, adding “I just don’t expect a guy who was at one time three steps away from the White House to hit you with a sucker punch in the hallway.”

“Kevin McCarthy has compromised his values so much that he’s lashing out now on the people that are calling him out,” Kinzinger said. “And honestly, I hope he gets help. I think he needs to because his identity was wrapped up in being a speaker, and I was a threat to that and January 6th, and others are a threat to that now, they’ve actually taken it away.”

“So he’s an angry man and you know when you lash out physically in this job, it goes to show something’s broken,” he concluded.


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Chris Donaldson


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