Kevin McCarthy takes parting shot at Matt Gaetz as he exits Congress: ‘He was psychotic’

Soon-departing former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., took a parting shot at the GOP congressman who led the charge to oust him.

McCarthy took aim at firebrand Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz while talking to reporters on Thursday, saying he was “psychotic” and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) studies minds like his.

“He was psychotic,” McCarthy said of Gaetz’s actions that led to his ouster as House speaker, according to a transcript posted by The Hill.

“People study that type of crazy mind, right?” McCarthy added. “Mainly the FBI.”

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It was the latest in the steady feud between McCarthy and Gaetz, whose motion to vacate ultimately led to McCarthy losing the House speakership.

McCarthy recently told Politico that Gaetz belongs behind bars when asked about the House’s Florida Republicans

“You have a cross-section [of the delegation],” McCarthy told the publication in late November. “You have Gaetz, who belongs in jail, and you have serious members.”

McCarthy’s criticism appeared to reference the ongoing probe of Gaetz by the House Ethics Committee into allegations of sexual misconduct and misuse of his funding.

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Gaetz pushed back at McCarthy, telling the outlet those were “tough words from a guy who sucker punches people in the back,” referencing allegations that McCarthy assaulted Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., by elbowing him in the kidneys.

“The only assault I committed was against Kevin’s fragile ego,” he added.

Their relationship appeared strained as tensions rose following Gaetz’s motion to vacate against McCarthy in October, eventually resulting in McCarthy’s removal as House speaker.

McCarthy took frequent shots at Gaetz throughout the process of selecting a new House speaker, which ultimately led to House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La, taking over the gavel. 

Gaetz and Burchett were among eight Republicans who voted with Democrats to remove McCarthy.

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