Kinzinger: McCarthy Needs Help After Physical Altercation

Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) on Friday reacted to reports of a physical altercation between former Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN).
Burchett, in an interview on CNN, claimed he was in an interview for NPR when McCarthy elbowed him in the kidney, causing him a lot of pain. Burchett, one of few House Republicans who voted to oust the former speaker, said McCarthy gave him a “clean shot to the kidney.”

Kinzinger, while speaking on Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead,” revealed that he had similar encounters with McCarthy while he was still in Congress.
“Yeah, twice,” Kinzinger said of the physical altercation between him and McCarthy. “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. Then three weeks later, we were passing each other basically on the same walkway in the House, and he shoulder checks me again, like when are you in fourth grade? And it was just like, what a child. 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.’ That’s never happened to me from anybody else.”

Kinzinger, who was one of two anti-Trump GOP lawmakers on the January 6 panel, ironically claimed that McCarthy has compromised his values.
“Kevin McCarthy has compromised his values so much that he is lashing out on the people calling him out,” Kinzinger added. Honestly, I hope he gets help. I think he needs to because his identity was wrapped up in being a speaker. I was a threat to that on January 6 and others are there a threat to that now. They actually took it away. So he is an angry man. When you physically lash out, it goes to show something is broken.”