Rep. Burchett accuses Rep. McCarthy of elbowing him

Burchett, McCarthy

Rep. Tim Burchett on Tuesday accused his colleague, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, of elbowing him in the back as he was speaking with a reporter on Capitol Hill.

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NPR reporter Claudia Grisales detailed the incident on social media. She said she was speaking with Burchett when McCarthy walked by with his detail and “shoved Burchett.”

“I thought it was a joke, it was not,” she wrote.

Burchett first apologized, thinking that he had been in someone’s way, NBC News reported. After he realized it was McCarthy, he began to yell after him, asking “Why’d you elbow me in the back Kevin?” according to Grisales.

McCarthy, who kept walking, denied having elbowed Burchett, NBC News and Grisales reported.

“What a jerk,” Burchett said, according to Grisales. He added that the alleged shove was the first contact he’d had with McCarthy since voting to oust him as House speaker last month.

Burchett told CNN that he was caught off guard when he was elbowed in the back.

“It was a clean shot to the kidneys,” he said. Later, he added, “You just don’t expect a guy who was at one time three steps away from the White House to hit you with a sucker punch in the hallway.”

McCarthy denied that his contact with Burchett was intentional.

The incident happened as House Republicans continue working toward a stopgap package aimed at keeping the government running into 2024, The Associated Press reported. Congress is facing a deadline Friday to avoid a government shut down.

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