Adam Kinzinger tells CNN he had physical run-ins with Kevin McCarthy

November 18, 2023

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made headlines last week after he reportedly elbowed a fellow congressman while walking through the halls of the U.S. Capitol. 

The incident sparked immediate controversy as McCarthy denied purposely attacking anyone. But that didn't stop others from commenting on similar encounters with the former speaker.

According to Breitbart, during a CNN interview with Jake Tapper, former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) recalled two instances in which he claims McCarthy was overly aggressive with him.

Kinzinger said that he believes something is wrong with McCarthy, adding that he believes McCarthy "gets help" for it.

What happened?

Kinzinger recounted two instances of physical run-ins with McCarthy that he said shocked him.

Tapper began the conversation by pointing out an excerpt from Kinzinger's book describing the physical run-in he claims to have had with McCarthy while serving in Congress.

"You are a combat veteran. You served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and you have watched many politicians speak as if Congress itself were a battlefield. They want to score points for their side no matter the costs. This week a Republican lawmaker accused Kevin McCarthy of giving him a sucker elbow to his kidneys. In the book, you write about two physical altercations with McCarty. Tell us what happened," Tapper said.

"Yeah, twice. I’m kind of standing in the back of the House, leaning over that gold railing, just kind of watching what’s going on, talking to people that walked by. And I get – wham! – I get shoulder-checked. Never had that happened on the floor of the House. And I turn, and Kevin McCarthy’s already passed me. And my initial reaction is that we’re friends, and I’m like, wait, we haven’t been friends in a year. That was serious," the former lawmaker replied.

He added,"Then three weeks later, we were passing each other basically on the same walkway in the House, and he shoulder checks me again, like when are you in fourth grade? And it was just like, what a child."

"And so the interesting thing is, what are the chances that I write about this in a book, it comes out, he does it to this guy from Tennessee, and then he’s saying like, ‘It was an accident.’ That’s never happened to me from anybody else."

"Needs help"

Kinzinger ultimately determined that he believes something is wrong with McCarthy, calling him an "angry man."

"Kevin McCarthy has compromised his values so much that he is lashing out on the people calling him out. Honestly, I hope he gets help. I think he needs to because his identity was wrapped up in being a speaker," Kinzinger said.

The former lawmaker added, "I was a threat to that on January 6 and others are there a threat to that now. They actually took it away. So he is an angry man. When you physically lash out, it goes to show something is broken."



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