Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Sunday that Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) hasn’t spoken to him since he was ousted from the top leadership post despite the two having had a good working relationship beforehand.
During an appearance on CNN’s “Inside Politics Sunday,” anchor Manu Raju asked McCarthy if he still has a good relationship with Jeffries after the New York lawmaker, along with every other House Democrat, voted to remove McCarthy from his position.
“No, he hasn’t talked to me since then,” McCarthy told Raju. “Look, at the end of the day, the Democrats decided to make a political decision.”
McCarthy’s ouster came after he worked with those same Democrats to bring a government funding bill to the floor hours before a shutdown would have taken effect.
The historic vote was brought on by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), as he and seven other Republican lawmakers joined their Democratic colleagues in a 216-210 vote to remove McCarthy from his leadership position.
Besides Gaetz, the other seven GOP lawmakers who voted against McCarthy are Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Ken Buck (Colo.), Tim Burchett (Tenn.), Eli Crane (Ariz.), Bob Good (Va.), Nancy Mace (S.C.) and Matt Rosendale (Mont.).
McCarthy also expressed his frustration with how his eventual ouster played out within his own political party.
“Well, just from a serious point of understanding governing, look, I’m a conservative who loves to govern. I don’t believe them to be conservatives. I just — there’s a different rationale,” McCarthy said.
“It’s driven by Gaetz … based upon an ethics complaint that happened in the last Congress. He would throw his country away to try to protect himself from what would come out as the truth. For those others to go along, I don’t quite understand,” McCarthy said.
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