In a closed-door House GOP conference meeting on Thursday morning, tensions flared as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) confronted Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), accusing him and his allies of orchestrating an online campaign against him with the help of “MAGA influencers.”
According to reports from Fox News, the exchange was marked by what was described as “fireworks.” Gaetz directly addressed McCarthy, alleging that “MAGA influencers” had been paid to attack him on social media. McCarthy promptly denied the accusation, dismissing Gaetz’s claims.
Speaker McCarthy dismissed Gaetz’s allegations, indicating that he had no intention of engaging in such activities. In the same meeting, another source revealed that McCarthy questioned Gaetz’s commitment to the GOP’s goals, pointing out that he was personally dedicating his efforts to allocate $5 million to support GOP candidates and members with the aim of strengthening their majority in the near future. McCarthy’s remark seemed to challenge Gaetz regarding his contributions toward achieving a stronger Republican majority.
In response to Gaetz’s allegations, some members of the GOP caucus expressed frustration. According to a second source, one lawmaker told Gaetz to “f— off,” while another referred to him as a “scumbag,” according to reports.
Gaetz confirmed the confrontation to reporters as he exited the meeting, explaining, “I asked him whether or not he was paying those influencers to post negative things about me online.” He also confirmed McCarthy’s response, saying, “Yeah, that is what he said.”
When asked about his feelings toward McCarthy during and after the exchange, Gaetz remarked, “My blood pressure is like 120 over 80. So I’m feeling great.”
A spokesperson for Speaker McCarthy categorically denied any involvement in the alleged online campaign, attributing it to a Democrat-backed entity. In support of this claim, Fox News Digital reportedly obtained a screenshot of a cease-and-desist email sent by McCarthy’s outside lawyer to the individuals allegedly behind the campaign.
Furthermore, the email asserted that the campaign falsely claimed to act on behalf of Speaker McCarthy and his affiliated entities and warned of legal consequences if the actions continued.
The exchange in the House GOP meeting underscores the ongoing tension between Gaetz and McCarthy. Gaetz has been threatening to force a House-wide vote on McCarthy’s speakership, alleging violations of a deal struck to secure McCarthy’s election as Speaker in January.
Under the terms of that compromise, McCarthy agreed to allow any lawmaker to trigger a vote on his removal, known as a “motion to vacate.” While Gaetz had hinted at pursuing such a motion earlier in the week, he sidestepped questions on the matter during the recent meeting with reporters.
In the midst of this contentious atmosphere, Gaetz emphasized his current focus on advancing single-subject spending bills, deflecting inquiries regarding the motion to vacate and maintaining his dedication to legislative efforts.
The confrontation between Gaetz and McCarthy underscores the complex dynamics within the Republican caucus as it navigates internal divisions and confronts ongoing challenges on Capitol Hill.
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GOP Weighs Formalizing Impeachment Inquiry into President Joe Biden
In a potentially explosive move, House Republicans are reportedly mulling a closed-door meeting on Friday morning to discuss the prospect of conducting a formal vote for an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
Reports reveal that GOP leaders are contemplating a House-wide vote to greenlight an investigation into Biden’s actions, with the chairmen of the three committees investigating the President and his family set to present their case during this crucial meeting.
The push for an impeachment inquiry, directed by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy in September, faces White House dismissal, branding the probe as illegitimate without a formal vote. GOP leaders strategize that a House-wide vote would increase pressure on the Biden administration to comply with House Republicans’ subpoenas and information requests.
Moderate Republicans have thrown their weight behind the investigation, with Rep. Carlos Gimenez asserting, “There’s plenty of smoke coming out of the White House which justifies an impeachment inquiry.”
Moreover, Rep. Don Bacon, a proponent of initiating a formal impeachment inquiry, clarifies that the vote would signify House GOP support for investigating Biden but wouldn’t result in immediate impeachment.
While some Republicans gauge sufficient support for the measure to pass, others caution that no definitive decision has been reached, emphasizing that the formal impeachment inquiry vote remains in the discussion phase.
In a recent press conference, GOP leaders accused Biden and his family of leveraging his vice-presidential tenure for personal gain, alleging a corrupt influence-peddling scheme involving millions from China, Russia, Ukraine, and Romania.
According to reports from Fox News, Biden and his allies vehemently deny any wrongdoing, with the White House dismissing the inquiry as a “baseless fishing expedition.” White House spokesman Ian Sams characterized the allegations against President Biden as debunked and framed the Republican efforts as a politically motivated attempt to divert attention from internal chaos and dysfunction. As the House Republicans navigate this complex terrain, the stakes in this high-profile inquiry continue to escalate.
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