The rivalry between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz flared up once again on Thursday morning during a closed-door Republican party meeting, which devolved into the legislators hurling insults and expletives, according to one witness present.
A witness to the event spoke to Fox News Digital, providing several details about the allegedly feisty exchange between the two Republican congressman — despite the insistence of McCarthy’s office that the exchange didn’t occur as reported.
“Tomorrow I’m spending my time giving $5 million [to Republican candidates and members] to expand our majority. What are you doing to help our majority?” McCarthy allegedly told Gaetz during the meeting, after the Trump-affiliated Florida representative confronted the House speaker.
Other members also expressed their frustration with Gaetz. A lawmaker’s blunt directive for Gaetz to “f— off” and another’s label of “scumbag” underscored the palpable tension within the meeting. Despite these confrontations, Gaetz maintained a calm demeanor post-meeting.
“I asked him whether or not he was paying those influencers to post negative things about me online,” Gaetz said. He confirmed McCarthy’s refusal to waste time on such matters and expressed his stable condition, stating, “My blood pressure is like 120 over 80. So I’m feeling great.”
A spokesperson for McCarthy said that the House speaker was not involved in any alleged online campaign against Gaetz. The allegations pointed toward a Democrat-backed company, reinforcing the internal and external political battles faced by the Republican members.
“McCarthy said he wouldn’t waste his time on Gaetz like that,” a source informed Fox News Digital.
Gaetz’s threat to call for a floor vote to oust McCarthy from leadership loomed over the meeting. This potential motion highlights the deep divisions and animosity within the party, as Gaetz had been threatening to force a House-wide vote on McCarthy’s removal over alleged violations of a deal.
Despite the internal turmoil, Gaetz emphasized his current focus on passing individual single-subject spending bills.
“Right now we’re working to get these individual single-subject spending bills passed, that’s my principal goal,” he said, steering the conversation toward legislative action amid the conflict.
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