Tuesday morning was a busy one on Capitol Hill, and it came complete with allegations of assault after NPR’s Claudia Grisales tweeted that former Speaker of the House “shoved” Rep. Tim Burchett on Tennessee as the pair passed one another in a hallway. Chris Hayes spent part of tonight’s “All In” talking about the incident and the “cringey” audio he shared.
.@chrislhayes: "McCarthy is alleged to and in view of a reporter appears to have elbowed in the kidney of a colleague he was mad at. That is a wild thing to do, a grown man in a workplace. Can you imagine doing that in your place of work anywhere?" pic.twitter.com/IkdkhfwOCx
— All In with Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) November 15, 2023
While introducing the “first and most notable incident” of a day described as a “‘pressure cooker” by Speaker Johnson, Hayes explained, “This morning, in clear view of at least one reporter, McCarthy appears to have assaulted a member of his own GOP conference.” He then shared Grisales’ first tweet that described the situation.
Grisales tweeted early Tuesday morning, “Have NEVER seen this on Capitol Hill: While talking to @RepTimBurchett after the GOP conference meeting, former @SpeakerMcCarthy walked by with his detail and McCarthy shoved Burchett. Burchett lunged towards me. I thought it was a joke, it was not. And a chase ensued…”
Have NEVER seen this on Capitol Hill:
While talking to @RepTimBurchett after the GOP conference meeting, former @SpeakerMcCarthy walked by with his detail and McCarthy shoved Burchett. Burchett lunged towards me. I thought it was a joke, it was not. And a chase ensued…
— Claudia Grisales (@cgrisales) November 14, 2023
A giddy Hayes then announced he would play the audio from the alleged elbowing in full and said “Before that, a warning: all of the clips, uh, lowlights that we’re going to play you from the Hill today are just so, so cringey. You’re gonna want to turn away at first, but it’s also just such a wild window into what’s going on there.”
“I think you will not want to take your eyes and ears off them,” he added.
The audio in question is, in fact, incredibly cringey. Grisales is speaking to Burchett when McCarthy brushed past him. In fact, Burchett first apologized to the former Speaker and said, “Sorry Kevin, didn’t mean to—Why’d you elbow me in the back, Kevin?”
It didn’t long for Burchett to activate playground mode. He added, “Hey Kevin, you got any guts? Jerk.” After Grisales asked Burchett if McCarthy “had done that before” the Tennessee Representative issued a drawled, “No” before he apparently chased down McCarthy to confront him one-on-one.
Burchett is then heard asking, “Hey Kevin, why’d you walk by me and elbow me in the back? You’ve got no guts … what kind of chicken move is that?”
“You’re pathetic, man,” he said. “You are so pathetic.”
Burchett later told reporters that McCarthy “elbowed me in the kidneys” as the pair crossed paths and that it was “100% on purpose.” McCarthy has flatly denied the allegation and insisted that the hallway was simply too narrow for him to pass by any other way.
Watch (and listen) to the exchange in the video above.
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