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McCarthy Allies Are Taking Revenge on Democrats, in Pettiest Way Possible

Kevin McCarthy and his friends are mad that Democrats didn’t help him keep the House speaker’s gavel.

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Acting House Speaker Patrick McHenry (left) and Kevin McCarthy

Allies of ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have begun to exact a very strange revenge against Democrats who voted to kick him from power.

The House voted 216–210 Tuesday to strip McCarthy of the gavel. Eight Republicans broke ranks to vote against him, but all Democrats united to oppose McCarthy. McCarthy appointed his ally Patrick McHenry to serve as speaker pro tempore until the chamber can vote on an official replacement,

McHenry immediately ordered former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to move out of her Capitol office. Ironically, Pelosi did not even participate in the vote because she was in California for the funeral of her friend, the late Senator Dianne Feinstein.

“This eviction is a sharp departure from tradition,” Pelosi said in a statement. She referred to when she first became speaker in 2007, saying she had given her predecessor “a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished.”

“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems to be important to them,” Pelosi said.

Republican Representative Garret Graves said Wednesday that McCarthy will be given her office instead. Graves argued the office is for the “preceding speaker” (not a rule, just politeness) and that Pelosi brought her eviction upon herself because “she and other Democrats have caused there to be an immediately preceding speaker.”

Also on Wednesday, Republican leadership kicked Democratic Representative Steny Hoyer out of his Capitol office. Hoyer served as the Majority Leader while Pelosi was speaker.* Punchbowl News’s Jake Sherman reported that anonymous GOP sources warned more retaliation of this kind was coming.

It’s odd that Republicans are taking revenge on Democrats, considering McCarthy made it very clear that he did not want Democrats’ help to stay on as speaker. He refused to even try to negotiate with them, telling reporters hours before the vote, “They haven’t asked for anything. I’m not going to provide anything.”

He also did a terrible job trying to negotiate with his own caucus. When McCarthy reached out to Republicans who ultimately voted against him, their conversations only “solidified” those members’ resolve to oppose him, NPR reported Wednesday. One lawmaker, speaking anonymously, described the conversation with McCarthy as “condescending.”

It’s shocking to see that Republicans are choosing to focus on petty revenge instead of cleaning up the mess they have made. Far-right Republicans kicked McCarthy out because they didn’t like the deal he struck for a continuing resolution to keep the government open. Of course, the risk of a shutdown only came about because Republicans refused to negotiate on appropriations bills.

Now Republicans have no clue what to do next or who will be the next House leader. They also only have about 40 days before the government runs out of money and faces a shutdown again. But rather than getting organized, they are fighting over office space.

* This article originally misstated Hoyer’s role while Pelosi was House speaker.

Guess Who Far-Right Republicans Want to be the Next House Speaker?

The race is on to find the next House speaker—and a few Republicans are floating a very familiar name.

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Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz

Republicans have booted Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House. But don’t worry, they already have a great plan to replace him.

For the first time in U.S. history, the House voted Tuesday night to vacate the speakership. Most Republicans, including the ones who voted to kick McCarthy out, quickly made it clear that they have no idea what actually happens next. But a candidate soon began to emerge: Donald Trump.

Freedom Caucus member Troy Nehls was one of the first to suggest the former president as a candidate for speaker.

His call was soon taken up by other far-right Republicans, such as Greg Steube and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Luckily for them, the quadruply indicted, liable-for-sexual assault, defamation, and business fraud presidential candidate may make some time in his calendar to step up to the plate. Fox News’s Sean Hannity reported late Tuesday that Trump is “open to helping the Republican Party, at least in the short term, if necessary.”

This isn’t the first time that Republicans have tried to put Trump forward as speaker. During the 15 grueling votes for speaker in January, Matt Gaetz nominated Trump as speaker instead of voting for McCarthy.

Gaetz, who filed the motion to vacate McCarthy, has yet to join in the calls for Trump. He has expressed support for both Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan. Gaetz and several other Freedom Caucus members voted several times for Jordan over McCarthy in January, despite the fact that Jordan backed McCarthy and made it clear he had no interest in holding the gavel.

But even Gaetz may come around to the idea of Trump as House speaker: Earlier this week, he pointed out that the next leader of the House does not need to be a member of the chamber.

Unfortunately, Republicans’ own House rules may bar Trump from holding the speakership. As Democratic Representative Sean Casten pointed out, the rules clearly state that a member of Republican leadership must step aside if they have been “indicted for a felony for which a sentence of two or more years imprisonment may be imposed.”

Republicans Are Freaking Out Immediately After Ousting Kevin McCarthy

No one has any idea what comes next, including those who pushed to remove McCarthy as House speaker in the first place.

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House lawmakers have for the first time ousted their own speaker—and no one has a clue what comes next. In fact, some are literally crying about it.

For now, Representative Patrick McHenry will temporarily lead the House of Representatives, after being handpicked for the role of interim speaker by ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy. But that’s about all anyone knows about what happens now.

Representative Matt Gaetz, who filed the motion to oust McCarthy late Monday evening, made clear from the very beginning that he has no idea who could possibly take over for the House speaker. After the vote to remove McCarthy as speaker, Gaetz again confirmed that he doesn’t have someone in mind for the role.

Representative Scott Perry, one of the 11 Republicans to advance the vote to oust McCarthy, also told CNN he doesn’t have a name for who he wants to see as speaker. “We’re going to see what happens now. I’m going to base my decisions on what happens.” (Perry did not, in the end, vote to oust McCarthy.)

Other lawmakers are simply confused about what to do now.

And they’re quickly turning on each other.

This is the first time in 113 years that House lawmakers have voted to oust their own speaker—and the first time in U.S. history that the vote was actually successful.

All this to say, it’s pure chaos in the Republican Party right now.

More on House Republican Drama

House Republicans Make History by Kicking Out Their Own Speaker

Goodbye to Kevin McCarthy.

Kevin McCarthy
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy lost a bruising vote on Tuesday to remove him as speaker of the House, sending the chamber into turmoil.

The House voted 216–210 to strip McCarthy of the gavel. Republicans Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Tim Burchett, Eli Crane, Matt Gaetz, Bob Good, Nancy Mace, and Matt Rosendale voted against him.

This is the first time in 113 years that the House voted on whether to eject the speaker—and the first time in U.S. history that the House speaker has lost the vote. A new vote will now be held to replace McCarthy, but it’s unclear who among Republicans will step up or how long it will take to find a new replacement.

Replacing McCarthy now will be terrible timing for the House, which needs to start passing appropriations bills. But Republicans are in such disarray that the chamber has struggled to approve anything. The GOP nearly forced a government shutdown over the weekend because they couldn’t agree on anything.

Representative Matt Gaetz introduced the motion to vacate late Monday, following weeks of trading increasingly heated barbs with McCarthy over spending bills. Gaetz revealed earlier Tuesday that he had no plan for who will replace McCarthy now that he has lost.

The natural successor to McCarthy would be House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who is out getting treatment for multiple myeloma. Majority Whip Tom Emmer and conference chair Elise Stefanik would also be obvious choices, but they both took themselves out of the running.

Ultimately, McCarthy has no one to blame but himself for Gaetz’s motion. McCarthy won the speakership in January only after 15 rounds of votes and ceding most of his power to the farthest-right wing of his party. Gaetz has been threatening to file a motion to vacate for months.

But Gaetz may be in hot water now too. Ousting McCarthy and plunging the House further into shambles is unlikely to boost his standing among fellow Republicans. The House GOP is already planning to expel him, depending on whether the Ethics Committee finds him guilty of sexual misconduct and illegal drug use, among other things.

Trump’s Big Mouth Just Cost Him at New York Fraud Trial

Donald Trump tried to bully a courtroom clerk, and the judge was not having it.

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The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s fraud trial in New York issued a gag order on people involved in the case Tuesday after the former president tried to bully a court clerk.

Trump has leveled attacks against New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has accused him and his associates of fraudulently inflating the value of their real estate assets, and presiding Judge Arthur Engoron. But on Tuesday, he took his vitriol to the next level, attacking court clerk Alison Greenfield and sharing her personal information.

“Schumer’s girlfriend, Alison R. Greenfield, is running this case against me. How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!” Trump said in a now-deleted Truth Social post. He also shared a link to Greenfield’s personal instagram, which has her full name and photo.

Trump was sharing a false conspiracy started by a far-right user on X (formerly Twitter) who claimed Senator Chuck Schumer was dating, or at least “palling around” with Greenfield. There is no evidence that Schumer is having an affair with Greenfield. He has been married to his wife for 40 years.

Trump’s post was deleted within a few hours, and Engoron issued a gag order Tuesday afternoon.

Consider this statement a gag order forbidding all parties from posting, emailing, or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” he said, revealing he had ordered Trump’s post deleted.

“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them in any circumstances.”

Serial Scammer George Santos Delivered the Perfect House Speaker Joke

Unfortunately, you have to hand it to him.

George Santos
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Representative George Santos

Representative George Santos made a frustratingly good joke Tuesday about the ongoing drama to kick Kevin McCarthy out as speaker of the House.

The House will vote Tuesday on whether to keep McCarthy in the speakership. Democrats are united in their conviction to vote against McCarthy, but Republicans are divided.

Ahead of the vote, Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin joked to his colleague Jared Moskowitz that things were never this bad when Santos was speaker. Moskowitz then brought Santos in on the joke.

Santos then doubled down on the joke on X (formerly Twitter).

While the joke is excellent, it’s also frustrating to see Santos making light of his past fabricating the bulk of his professional and educational résumé. He has falsely claimed that his grandparents were Holocaust survivors, his mother died in the 9/11 attacks, and four of his employees were killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting. He also lied about founding an animal rescue charity and producing the disastrous Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

Santos has been federally charged with 13 counts of various types of financial fraud, to which he has pleaded not guilty. He also agreed to a deal with Brazilian authorities investigating him for financial fraud, so that he could avoid prosecution.

Democrats introduced a motion to censure Santos over the summer but have temporarily shelved it, despite bipartisan support. He is under investigation from the House Ethics Committee, but nothing has emerged yet.

So despite the fact that his colleagues, including Republicans, and his constituents are demanding he retire, Santos is able to sit in Congress, vote on laws, and joke about his fraudulent past.

Blabbering Donald Trump Essentially Admits to Fraud in New York Trial

Trump thinks “it’s not my fault” is a real legal defense in the trial.

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Donald Trump kicked off the second day of his fraud trial in New York on Tuesday by essentially admitting to the crimes.

New York Attorney General Letitia James sued Trump in September 2022 for fraud, accusing him and his associates of gaining more than $100 million by fraudulently inflating the value of their real estate assets. State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron issued a partial summary judgment last week, ruling that Trump committed business fraud and ordering all his New York business certificates to be canceled, a move that could effectively kill the Trump Organization as it exists today. The trial, which began Monday, is to determine how much Trump and his co-defendants owe in damages.

Trump insisted Tuesday that his organization’s financial documents were not the least bit fraudulent—but even if they were, he couldn’t be held responsible because it was up to the lenders and insurers to fact-check that.

“Many, many warnings. Page one, page two, and many pages, it says, ‘Please, you must understand that you have to do your own due diligence.… Do not rely on anything, do not rely on the financial statements,’” he told reporters at midday.

“Also, the financial statements are very strong in terms of cash, liquidity, and everything else. This case is a scam,” Trump continued. “There can’t be fraud when you’ve told institutions to do their own work.”

One jokester on X (formerly Twitter) compared Trump’s comments to saying, “Hey, if [your] bank doesn’t have good security, it’s all legal and cool to rob it.”

James’s lawsuit alleges that Trump claimed his Trump Tower apartment in Manhattan was three times its actual size and worth $327 million. No New York City apartment has ever sold for that much. He also valued Mar-a-Lago at $739 million, about 10 times its actual worth.

Trump has responded by accusing James, who is Black, of being racist against him, and Engoron of being a Democratic political operative.

Kevin McCarthy Can’t Count on Democrats to Save Him. Here’s Who Could.

Things are not looking good for the House speaker right now, but a handful of lawmakers could bail him out.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy
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Kevin McCarthy’s hold on the House speaker’s gavel may soon be coming to an end.

The House is planning to begin first votes on the motion to vacate McCarthy as speaker at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The vote brings the monthslong drama between the House speaker and the furthest-right Republicans, including Matt Gaetz, who filed the motion on Monday evening, to a head.

By all indications, McCarthy lacks the votes to remain in power. But these things are never over until they’re over. McCarthy will have to hope against hope that a handful of the Republicans who are currently allied with Gaetz’s bid to oust the speaker develop cold feet as the moment to do the deed draws nigh, and change their minds.

At the moment, that handful of Republicans McCarthy needs to keep in his pocket have indicated they want McCarthy gone. In addition to Gaetz, Representatives Bob Good, Eli Crane, and Matt Rosendale have all said they’ll vote to remove McCarthy as speaker.

Representative Andy Biggs told CNN he’s “favorably disposed” to the same, and Representative Tim Burchett said his “conscience” is telling him to vote McCarthy out but he’s still “praying about” what to do.

Depending on how many people show up for the final vote, McCarthy can only afford to lose between four to six Republicans. So McCarthy’s best bet is to win over some of the aforementioned lawmakers. Burchett is the only Republican on this list who didn’t repeatedly block McCarthy’s bid for House speaker back in January, so he may be the easiest to sway.

Democrats could have swooped in to save McCarthy, but on Tuesday, the caucus unified against doing so. CNN’s Manu Raju reported that “every Democrat I’ve spoken with has come out of the meeting ready to sink McCarthy.” One Democratic lawmaker told Axios that there were “surprising” members who spoke out against saving McCarthy, including many moderates. Even Representative Jared Golden, of the infamous “Blue Dog Democrats,” confirmed he saw “no reason” to save McCarthy.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the burden is on Republicans, not Democrats, to figure out what to do with their speakership drama, which he referred to as the “House Republican Civil War.”

“We are not voting in any way that would help Speaker McCarthy,” progressive Representative Pramila Jayapal said a bit more bluntly. “Nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy, and why should we?”

This story has been updated.

Matt Gaetz Has No Idea What He’ll Do After Expelling Kevin McCarthy

The far-right representative admitted he doesn’t know what happens to the House speaker position next.

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After months of threatening, Representative Matt Gaetz finally filed a motion to vacate Kevin McCarthy as House speaker. But Gaetz has no clue what happens next.

Gaetz introduced the resolution late Monday, following weeks of trading increasingly heated barbs with McCarthy over spending bills. The House is expected to vote Tuesday on the motion.

But when asked Tuesday by his fellow Republicans what his plan is and who would replace McCarthy, Gaetz had no answer, CNN’s Melanie Zanona reported. “Gaetz said there’d need to be a new speaker’s election that plays out and didn’t name anyone he had in mind for the job.”

If Gaetz does manage to force a new vote for speaker, his not having a candidate in mind could drag things out even longer, sending the House spiraling further into chaos than it already is. The natural successor to McCarthy would be House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who is out getting treatment for multiple myeloma. Majority Whip Tom Emmer and conference chair Elise Stefanik would also be obvious choices, but they have both taken themselves out of the running.

Still, Gaetz is no stranger to forcing Congress (and the rest of us) to sit through round after round of agonizing votes for House speaker. He was one of the last holdouts in January, resulting in 15 votes before McCarthy finally won the gavel.

It’s unclear if Republicans will band together to save McCarthy. He has grown increasingly unpopular among the farthest-right flank of his party, particularly due to the repeated deals he struck with Democrats on the federal budget.

But Republicans are definitely starting to sour on Gaetz. House Republicans are reportedly planning a motion to expel him from the chamber, depending on whether the Ethics Committee finds him guilty of sexual misconduct and illegal drug use, among other things.

John Kelly Confirms Trump’s Most Vile Comments About the Military

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly has verified all the horrid things Donald Trump said about veterans and service members.

Donald Trump
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Former White House chief of staff John Kelly has confirmed that Donald Trump called disabled veterans “suckers” and “losers.”

The Atlantic published a story in 2020 recounting Trump’s visit to France two years earlier to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I. Several senior staff members told the magazine that Trump refused to visit the graves of American soldiers buried near Paris because the cemetery is “filled with losers.” Trump also said that 1,800 U.S. Marines who died in the Belleau Wood were “suckers” for getting killed.

The White House denied the story at the time, but Kelly confirmed the details in a Monday evening interview with CNN. “What can I add that has not already been said?” he said, when asked if he wanted to comment on his former boss.

“A person that thinks those who defend their country in uniform, or are shot down or seriously wounded in combat, or spend years being tortured as POWs are all ‘suckers’ because ‘there is nothing in it for them.’ A person that did not want to be seen in the presence of military amputees because ‘it doesn’t look good for me.’ A person who demonstrated open contempt for a Gold Star family—for all Gold Star families—on TV during the 2016 campaign, and rants that our most precious heroes who gave their lives in America’s defense are ‘losers’ and wouldn’t visit their graves in France.”

Kelly’s comments also confirm other stories that the Trump White House previously denied. One story is that during a visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2017, amid the graves of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, Trump asked Kelly, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”

They were standing in front of Kelly’s son’s grave at the time.

Kelly’s statement on CNN also confirms the story that, during a 2017 visit to France, Trump said he didn’t want any wounded veterans in a military parade he was trying to have planned for himself. “It doesn’t look good for me,” he said.

Kelly decried Trump’s recent attacks on newly retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley. Kelly was furious that Trump suggested that Milley “should lose his life for treason—in expectation that someone will take action.”

Trump is “a person that has no idea what America stands for and has no idea what America is all about.… A person that has nothing but contempt for our democratic institutions, our Constitution, and the rule of law,” Kelly said. “There is nothing more that can be said.”

“God help us.”