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Watch: Matt Gaetz Claims Kevin McCarthy Was Exposed as ‘Swampy’ Saboteur to Speaker Vote

Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks with reporters on Wednesday.
@RepMattGaetz / X video screen shot

The following article, Watch: Matt Gaetz Claims Kevin McCarthy Was Exposed as 'Swampy' Saboteur to Speaker Vote, was first published on Flag And Cross.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida offered a behind-the-scenes look Wednesday at how former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had been angling to try to regain his post by being a “swampy” saboteur of the other candidates.

Gaetz told reporters on Capitol Hill prior to the vote to elect Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana as speaker about a GOP conference meeting held Tuesday night after House Majority Whip Tom Emmer withdrew from the race.

Emmer had been picked to be the GOP nominee earlier in the day with 117 votes followed by Johnson at 97. However, after former President Donald Trump came out forcefully against him becoming speaker coupled with the opposition Emmer already faced in the conference he bowed out.

At a closed-door GOP conference meeting, freshman Rep. Mark Molinaro of New York made a unanimous consent request that the lawmakers take a poll to see where Johnson stood with Emmer now out of the race, according to Gaetz.

“You know who objected?” the Florida congressman asked the reporters. “Kevin McCarthy, because at that point he hadn’t figured out a way to yet how to scuttle Mike Johnson, the way he scuttled Tom Emmer and Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan before.”

“So the swampy, underhanded efforts of Kevin McCarthy were exposed and they were vanquished and that’s why all Americans should be excited about the ascendance of Mike Johnson to the speakership,” Gaetz argued.

Gaetz went into further detail about what happened at Tuesday’s closed-door GOP meeting while appearing as a guest on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” on Real America’s Voice.

He told Bannon that McCarthy’s objection to the poll concerning Johnson “showed everyone that it was actually McCarthy working to knife Scalise. It was actually McCarthy that was working to knife Jim Jordan.”

“It was McCarthy working to knife everyone,” Gaetz continued, “and he hadn’t yet figured out a way to knife Mike Johnson.”

McCarthy was trying to set himself up as the only candidate who could get the required votes to be speaker, Gaetz contended.

“So he was worried there was going to be this great unifying moment and he scuttled the unifying moment,” he said.

In the meantime, then-Speaker Pro Tem Patrick McHenry, who McCarthy had appointed, ran to the House floor Tuesday evening and adjourned the body until noon the next day in an effort to buy McCarthy more time to work behind the scenes to orchestrate his return, Gaetz believes.

The GOP lawmakers took a vote by secret ballot Tuesday night, which netted McCarthy 43 members, though he was not officially a candidate for the speakership.

Johnson then requested a voice vote, during which no one voted for McCarthy.

“After [Kevin McCarthy] voted on the secret, anonymous ballot for himself had to stand up and vote for Mike Johnson after his objections had been overrun, after his coalition had dissolved, and after the sad hopes of a desperate man trying to cling to power were vanquished,” Gaetz said.

“The reason it took three weeks instead of three days is because Kevin McCarthy leveraged the last vestiges of his power to try to block any other human of any other ideology from being able to assume the speakership,” he added.

Gaetz, who had brought the motion to remove McCarthy, was pleased with Johnson winning out.

“The swamp is on the run. MAGA is ascendant,” he said. “And if you don’t think that moving from Kevin McCarthy to MAGA Mike Johnson shows the ascendance of this movement and where the power in the Republican Party truly lies, then you’re not paying attention.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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