Watch: McCarthy Savages Reporter for Defending Schiff, Swalwell

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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) assaulted a reporter on Tuesday after she interrupted him during a news conference as he spoke about his decision to nominate House Permanent Select Representatives Eric Swalwell (R-CA) and Adam Schiff (R-CA) Committee on Intelligence.

The reporter, Lisa Desjardins of PBS Newshour, compared embattled Representative George Santos (R-NY) to Swalwell and Schiff and said, “You said lying to us is something that means you should be removed from the Intelligence Committee, but why Is that right? it is not a factor [for Santos]?”

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The question came after McCarthy just announced that he would reject the selections of Swalwell and Schiff, Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) of House Minority Leader, to the Intel committee and after the Republican Steering Committee placed Santos on two low-profile committees whose members do not have access to classified information as members of the Intel Committee do.

When McCarthy began to explain that Santos had been elected by his district and that the district should have representation on the committee, Desjardins interrupted and said, “You’re not answering my question.”

“Why does one standard lie to Democrats and another to Republicans?” asked Desjardins.

McCarthy replied, “Let me be very clear and respectful to you.” You asked me a question. If I answer, that’s the answer to your question. You can’t control whether I answer your question or not, okay, by all means.’

Watch:

McCarthy continued, “I’m going to be very clear with you. The Intel committee is different. You know why? Because you don’t know what happens in the Intel committee. What is happening in the Intel committee, all the secrets going on in the world, other members of Congress don’t know.

McCarthy said the rejection of the pair of California Democrats from that particular panel was a matter of “national security.”

Schiff, while chairing the Intel committee, perpetuated the Trump-Russia collusion theory, which the Justice Department later dismissed as incorrect. For example, Schiff once said that he eventually had “more than circumstantial evidence” of collusion leading all GOP members of the committee to request his resignation as chairman.

Schiff, who was the lead impeachment manager in the first impeachment proceeding against former President Donald Trump, was also criticized for reading a fabricated phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dramatic effect as Democrats attempted to impeach Trump.

Swalwell, for his part, was found by the FBI to have once had ties to a Chinese spy named Fang Fang.

“I believe there are 200 other Democrats who could serve on the committee,” McCarthy said. “Those voters elected Schiff, even though he lied. Those voters elected Swalwell, even though he also lied to the American public. … I will also respect his constituents and they will serve on committees, but they will not serve in a place of national security because integrity is important to me.”

Write to Ashley Oliver at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @ashliver.

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