On Sunday’s edition of Face the Nation, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., repeatedly deflected questions about assigning members of his Republican conference to congressional committees that spew conspiracy theories and are plagued by scandals.
“These are members who just got elected by their constituents, and we put them into committees, and I’m proud to do it,” McCarthy said.
CBS moderator Margaret Brennan asked McCarthy why Congresspersons like Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and George Santos of New York are being placed on powerful panels.
“Let me ask you about some specifics, then. Marjorie Taylor Greene, you put her on a new subcommittee to investigate the origins of COVID. She compared mask requirements to the type of abuse Jews were subjected to during the Holocaust. She called for [Dr. Anthony] Fauci to be arrested and imprisoned, and she’s spread conspiracy theories. How is anyone supposed to take that work seriously and find that work credible?” Brennan wondered.
McCarthy offered no substantive response.
“Very well. You look at all of it, so you have all the questions out there. I think what the American public…” he began until Brennan cut him off.
“You think these are legitimate questions?” she exclaimed.
“I think what the American public wants to see is an open dialogue in the process,” McCarthy replied. “This is a select committee where people can have all the questions they want, and you’ll see the outcome, you know?”
Brennan was unsatisfied with that response.
“But doesn’t it further wear down credibility when you put someone who’s under state, local, federal, and international investigation as a representative of your party?
“Are you talking about [Congressman Eric] Swalwell [D-Calif.]?” McCarthy joked.
“I’m talking about George Santos, Representative from New York,” Brennan continued.
“Well, we should have that discussion. So let’s have that discussion. You want to bring up Santos and let’s talk about the institution itself, because I agree wholeheartedly that Congress is broken. And I think you’re I think your listeners or viewers should understand what proxy voting was because it never took place in Congress before,” McCarthy stated.
“But I’m asking you about George Santos, because you could put it to a vote,” Brennan reminded McCarthy.
“I know you asked me a question. Let me ask you – you asked me a question. I’d appreciate it if you let me answer,” McCarthy said. “So let’s go through this, because it’s not one simple answer. Congress is broken based upon what has transpired in the last Congress. The American public wasn’t able to come in to see us. People voted by proxy, meaning you didn’t have to show up for work. Bills didn’t have to go through committee. So what I’m trying to do is open the People’s House back for the people, so their voice is there, so people are held accountable. So now, as I just had in the last week, for the first time in seven years, every member got to vote.”
Brennan noted that “if you got a third of your caucus to vote to oust him, you could do so. You don’t think you could get your Republicans to do that?”
McCarthy pressed forward.
“I wasn’t finished answering the question,” he asserted. “So if every single new person brought into Congress was elected by their constituents, what their constituents have done has lend their voice to the American public. So those members can all serve on committee. Now, what I’m trying to do is change some of these committees as well. Like the Intel committee is different than any other committee…”
Brennan again checked him.
“You’re just not going to answer the question I asked,” she said.
McCarthy’s tone turned defensive.
“Well, no, you don’t get to question whether I answer it. You asked the question I’m trying to get,” he snipped.
“I don’t think you said the name George Santos, like, once. I asked you a few times,” Brennan chuckled, pointing out that McCarthy was “talking about proxy voting and other things.”
McCarthy still refused to address Brennan’s initial queries.
“No, but no, you started the question with Congress was broken and I agreed with you. But I was answering the question of how Congress is broken and how we’re changing it. So if I can finish the question that you asked me, how Congress is broken, I equated every single member. They just got elected by their constituents. They have a right to serve,” he declared. “So that means that Santos can serve on a committee the same way Swalwell – who had a relationship with a Chinese spy – but they will not serve on Intel.”
When the interview ended due to time, social media users were exasperated with McCarthy’s performance.
Mr Poosh: “Literally every response he has is whataboutism.”
RKB: “Does anyone seriously believe this person should be speaker?”
Diane L-S: “Brennan allowed SPINO McCarthy to patronize her with his arrogance. Shut that crap down and demand he actually answer the question asked and not disrespect her in his answering. Inform him if he’s going to refuse to answer questions, BS deflect or dis her, the interview is over.”
Brooks Hart: “He talks about the constituents who voted for Santos having the right to have their elected official seated on committees. But Santos decieved those voters. He ran on lies.”
Jay Arnold: “McCarthy being speaker is a proxy for Congress being broken.”
Watch below or at this link.