Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s George Santos problem was put on full display as McCarthy crumbled when pressed on Face The Nation.
Video of complete McCarthy interview
Transcript via CBS’s Face The Nation:
MARGARET BRENNAN Approval level of journalists is also not very high, I’ll give you that. But doesn’t it further wear down credibility when you put someone who is under state, local, federal and international investigation as a representative of your party on committees–
SPEAKER MCCARTHY – Are you referring to Swalwell?
MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m talking about George Santos, representative from New York.
SPEAKER MCCARTHY (Rep.): This should be a discussion. So let’s have that discussion. You want to bring up Santos, and let’s talk about the institution itself, because I agree wholeheartedly that Congress is broken. And I think you- I think your viewers and listeners should understand what proxy voting is because it has never occurred in Congress before.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m asking you about George Santos.
SPEAKER MCCARTHY: I know you asked me a question. Let me ask you–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Because you could put it to a vote to try to oust him–
SPEAKER MCCARTHY: You asked me a question. I’d appreciate if you let me answer. So let’s go through this because it’s not one simple answer. The last Congress has shown that Congress is in trouble. The American public wasn’t able to come in to see us. People voted by proxy, meaning you didn’t have to show up for work, Bills didn’t go- have to go through committee. So what I’m trying to do is open the people’s house back for the people so their voices there- so people are held accountable. Now, just like I had in the last week’s, all members got to vote for the first-time in seven years.
MARGARET BreNNAN: If you can get at least a third to vote against him, you might be able to do so.
SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Let me–
MARGARET BRENNAN: You don’t think you could get your Republicans to do that?
SPEAKER MCCARTHY: I wasn’t finished answering the question. In other words, every person who is elected to Congress has been elected by their constituents. This means that their constituents have given their voice to the American people. These constituents can now all be members of the same committee. Now, what I’m trying to do is change some of these committees as well, like the Intel Committee is different than any other committee–
MARGARET BRENNAN: So you’re just not going to answer the question I asked?
SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Well, no, no. You don’t get a question whether I answer it. You asked a question, I’m trying to get you through that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I don’t think you’ve said the name George Santos like once.
SPEAKER MCCARTHY – But you know what?
MARGARET BRENNAN: You’re talking about proxy voting–
SPEAKER MCCARTHY: No, no, no. However, I agree with you that the question you asked Congress was a dead end.
MARGARET BRENNAN: No, Congress–
SPEAKER MCCARTHY: But I was answering the question of how Congress is broken and how we’re changing it. To finish the question, you asked me how Congress was broken. I answered that by comparing every member. They would simply be elected by the constituents they represent. They have the right to serve. So that means that Santos can serve on a committee the same way Swalwell, who had a relationship with a Chinese spy, but they will not serve on Intel because I think–
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McCarthy can’t defend his continued enabling of George Santos, so he tried to change the subject to Eric Swalwell. Eric Swalwell was innocent of any wrongdoing and Rep. Swalwell does not face criminal charges.
The Speaker keeps getting asked about his decision to refuse to hold a vote on expelling Santos from Congress, and he doesn’t have a good answer, which suggests that if an expulsion vote was held, George Santos might be booted out of the House.
Kevin McCarthy’s defenses of George Santos are growing more twisted, lie-filled, and pathetic. With only a four-vote majority, Santos is an anchor that McCarthy can’t afford to remove from around his neck.
Jason is the managing Editor. Jason is also a White House Press Pool correspondent and a Congressional correspondent at PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work was in public policy and social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of The Society of Professional Journalists & The American Political Science Association
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