Kevin McCarthy Doubles Down: ‘If You Got the Briefing I Got from the FBI, You Wouldn’t Have Swalwell on Any Committee’

Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has doubled down on his plan to remove Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from his committee.

McCarthy told a CNN reporter he will not change course due to his concerns that Swalwell is a national security risk.

“You’re going to tell me other Democrats couldn’t fill that slot?” McCarthy said of Swalwell’s committee role.

“He cannot get a security clearance in the private sector.

“So would you like to give him a government clearance?”

Swalwell went on MSNBC to make his case for keeping his coveted slot: “The only person who supports this is my wife, who’s like, ‘Great, you’re gonna be home to change more diapers. I love it.’

“But the truth is, Chris, it’s purely vengeance.

“This happened nearly 10 years ago.

“The FBI told me that someone who had been helping our campaign in a district with 35% Asian Americans may be working with the Chinese government.

“I did what I hope every one of my colleagues would do, which was to help the FBI get this person out of the country.”

McCarthy isn’t buying it and told a reporter:

“You will find the fundamental difference of me being a Speaker and Nancy Pelosi: the other side will get to name their members on the committee.

“It won’t be handpicked by me and denying the Democrats their voice.

“So whatever transpires out of that committee is worked through Republicans and Democrats as we move forward.

“The fundamental difference.”

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The reporter then asked why Swalwell will be blocked from serving on a committee if Democrats will be able to appoint their own members.

“I was very clear early on,” the speaker fired back.

“Let me phrase something very direct to you.

“If you got the briefing I got from the FBI, you wouldn’t have Swalwell on any committee.

“And you’re going to tell me other Democrats couldn’t fill that slot?

“He cannot get a security clearance in the private sector.

“So would you like to give him a government clearance?

“You asked me questions about Santos,” McCarthy continued.

“You ask the questions about Swalwell?

“Not only was he getting a clearance, he was inside an intel committee.

“He had more information than the majority of all the members.

“Did you ever raise that issue? No. But you should have.

“You’re going to tell me there’s 200 other Democrats that couldn’t fill that slot. But they kept him on it?

“The only way that they even knew it came forward is when they went to nominate him to the Intel committee.

“And then the FBI came and told the leadership.

“Then he’s got a problem. And they kept him on.

“That jeopardized all of us.”

McCarthy then turned his attention to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

McCarthy started to blast Schiff for “lying to the American people” before CNN cut him off.

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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