Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) has accused Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) of “physically” trying to “intimidate” him.
According to Kinzinger, former Speaker McCarthy “shoulder-checked” him “twice.”
It was reported this week that McCarthy elbowed or shoved Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN).
The alleged incident occurred after the House had voted to oust McCarthy from his prior leadership role.
Burchett claims McCarthy shoved him while passing him in a hallway in the Capitol building.
Now Kinzinger is taking to social media to allege a similar incident happened twice between him and McCarthy.
Conveniently, Kinzinger notes that he wrote about in his book, according to The Hill.
The common theme in the accusations from his fellow Republicans is that McCarthy is a “bully” who is not above acting out physically against those who challenged his authority and leadership.
Axios reported Tuesday that Burchett called McCarthy “a bully” for having elbowed him in the back.
He said it was a sort of “sucker punch” that left him in pain.
The incident occurred while Burchett was speaking with NPR reporter Claudia Grisales.
Grisales posted a thread of tweets laying out a play-by-play of the initial shove that resulted in a brief “chase.”
This was followed by an angry confrontation between the two members in which McCarthy denied having done anything to Burchett.
“He’s like the guy who throws a rock over the fence when he’s a kid and runs home and hides behind his momma’s skirt,” Burchett said of McCarthy in a statement to CNN reporter Manu Raju.
“You know, he’s got a security detail around him so nobody’s gonna be able to do anything to him.
“Why does he still have security detail I guess is a good question?”
A short time after Grisales posted her account of the incident she witnessed involving McCarthy and Burchett, Kinzinger shared her thread and wrote:
“Happened to me twice. I discuss in my book Renegade.”
A screenshot of the passage in question was posted by CNN’s Raju, and showed that Kinzinger had written in his book:
“McCarthy’s rude and dismissive tone was typical of his style, which was notably juvenile, especially when compared with his predecessors.”
He went on to note that in comparison to former Speakers Paul Ryan (R-WI) and John Boehner (R-OH), McCarthy was “more like an attention-seeking high school senior who readily picked on anyone who didn’t fall in line.”
As for the instances of McCarthy “trying to intimidate me physically,” Kinzinger wrote of an incident in which McCarthy bumped him with his shoulder in passing.
Kinzinger said he dismissed it as no big deal at the time until a second episode in which he alleged that McCarthy “shoulder-checked me again.”
The ex-congressman said it prompted him to think to himself: “What a child.”
Kinzinger added that rather than respond in anger, “I just chalked it up to the immature behavior that he favored and that had become more and more common inside the chamber.”
A few days after the incident between McCarthy and Burchett, Kinzinger appeared on CNN with host Jake Tapper.
Kinzinger shared his recollection of his own alleged experience with McCarthy’s physicality in the form of being “shoulder-checked” on two separate occasions.
Kinzinger says McCarthy “shoulder checked” him twice while walking past him pic.twitter.com/20nR7087TC
— Acyn (@Acyn) November 17, 2023
“Kevin McCarthy has compromised his values so much that he is lashing out now on the people that are calling him out,” Kinzinger said.
“And honestly, I hope he gets help.
“I think he needs to because his identity was wrapped up in being the speaker, and I was a threat to that on January 6 and others are a threat to that now — they’ve actually taken it away — so he’s an angry man, and when you lash out physically in this job it goes to show that something is broken.”