WATCH: Speaker McCarthy DEMOLISHES PBS Reporter During Wild Presser

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During a Tuesday news conference after deciding to remove California Democrat Congressmen Adam Schiff & Eric Swalwell from the Intelligence Committee, Speaker Kevin McCarthy completely annihilated PBS reporter Lisa Desjardins when she started arguing with him over his decision to remove Schiff and Swalwell but let Republican Congressman George Santos serve on committees. 

When Desjardins was called on by Speaker McCarthy, she started lashing out and whining that Schiff is being removed but not Santos. 

McCarthy interjected “Intel Committee. Is Santos on the Intel Committee? Am I allowing Schiff to be on other committees?” 

Yet she kept conflating the two issues, “this is a man who should not be on committees,” she whined referring to Santos. 

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“He’s got elected by his district,” McCarthy replied. “That’s not an answer to my question,” Desjardins interjected. This set McCarthy off.   

“Okay, let me be very clear and respectful to you. You asked me a question. When I answer it, it’s the answer to your question. You don’t get to determine whether I answer your question or not, okay? In all respect. Thank you,” McCarthy said.  

McCarthy then went into a tirade and laid the facts down on why Adam Schiff shouldn’t be allowed on the Intelligence Committee: 

The Intel Committee is different. You know why? Because what happens in the Intel Committee, you don’t know. what happens in the Intel Committee, the secrets that are going on in the world, other members of Congress don’t know. What did Adam Schiff do as the Chairman of the Intel Committee? What Adam Schiff did, use his power as the Chairman and lie to the American public. Even the Inspector General said it. When Devin Nunes put out a memo, he said it was false.  When we had a laptop, he used it before an election to be politics and say it was false and said it was the Russians. 

When he knew different! When he knew the intel. If you talk to John Ratcliffe, DNI. He came out ahead of time and says there’s no intel to prove that and he used his position as Chairman knowing he has information the rest of America does not and lied to the American public. When a whistle-blower came forward, he said he did not know the individual even though his staff met with him and set it up. So no, he does not have a right to sit on that. But I will not be like Democrats and play politics with these. Where they removed Republicans from committees and all committees. So yes, he can serve on a committee but he will not serve on Intel. Because it goes to the national security of America, and I will always put them first. Alright?  

“If you want to talk about Swalwell, let’s talk about Swalwell,” McCarthy said, turning his attention to the Congressman who had sex with a Chinese spy. 

“You have not had the briefing that I had. I had the briefing and Nancy Pelosi had the briefing from the FBI. The FBI never came before this Congress to tell the leadership of this Congress that Eric Swalwell had a problem with a Chinese spy until he served on intel,” McCarthy explained. 

“I’ve got that briefing, so I do not believe he should sit on there, that committee, and I believe there’s 200 other Democrats that can serve on that committee. So this has nothing to do with Santos. Santos is not on the Intel Committee,” he added. 

Proving he’s an adult when the previous Speaker Nancy Pelosi wasn’t, McCarthy rose above politics and explained: “those voters elected Schiff, even though he lied. Those voters elected Swalwell, even though he lied to the American public too. So you know what?  I’ll respect his voters too and they’ll serve on committees, but they will not serve on a place that has national security, because integrity matters to me. That’s the answer to your question!” 

Good for Kevin McCarthy for not taking biased gotcha questions from state media outlets like PBS.

This nasty petulant questioning from PBS’s  Lisa Desjardins was paid for by viewers like you.                        

The full transcript of the back-and-forth is below. Click “expand” to read:

Speaker McCarthy News Conference
1/24/2023

LISA DESJARDINS: You are keeping Adam Schiff, removing him from the Intel Committee—

SPEAKER KEVIN MCCARTHY: Intel Committee. Is Santos on the Intel Committee? Am I allowing Schiff to be on other committees? 

DEJARDINS: [unintelligible]

MCCARTHY: Go right ahead! 

DESJARDINS: Because you have direct power over who goes on the intelligence committee, you also will be able to create for your full house, taking off other Democrats, perhaps Representative Omar. But you have said that lying to us is something that means you should be removed from the Intelligence Committee, but why is it not about—

MCCARTHY: Well let me be very clear   

DESJARDINS: This is a man who should not be on committees something you do have power over—

MCCARTHY: He’s got elected by his district—

DESJARDINS: That’s not an answer to my question. Why does lying—

MCCARTHY: Okay, let me be very clear and respectful to you. You asked me a question. When I answer it, it’s the answer to your question. You don’t get to determine whether I answer your question or not, okay? In all respect. Thank you. 

[…]

MCCARTHY: You just raised a question, I’m going to be very clear with you. The Intel Committee is different. You know why? Because what happens in the Intel Committee, you don’t know. what happens in the Intel Committee, the secrets that are going on in the world, other members of Congress don’t know. What did Adam Schiff do as the Chairman of the Intel Committee? What Adam Schiff did, use his power as the Chairman and lie to the American public. Even the Inspector General said it. When Devin Nunes put out a memo, he said it was false.  When we had a laptop, he used it before an election to be politics and say it was false and said it was the Russians. 

When he knew different! When he knew the intel. If you talk to John Ratcliffe, DNI. He came out ahead of time and says there’s no intel to prove that and he used his position as Chairman knowing he has information the rest of America does not and lied to the American public. When a whistle-blower came forward, he said he did not know the individual even though his staff met with him and set it up. So no, he does not have a right to sit on that. But I will not be like Democrats and play politics with these. Where they removed Republicans from committees and all committees. So yes, he can serve on a committee but he will not serve on Intel. Because it goes to the national security of America, and I will always put them first. Alright? 

And if you want to talk about Swalwell, let’s talk about Swalwell. Because you have not had the briefing that I had. I had the briefing and Nancy Pelosi had the briefing from the FBI. The FBI never came before this Congress to tell the leadership of this Congress that Eric Swalwell had a problem with a Chinese spy until he served on intel. So it wasn’t just us who were concerned about it, the FBI was concerned about putting a member of Congress on the Intel Committee that has the rights to see things that others don’t because of his knowledge and relationship with a Chinese spy. They brought it to the works of the leaders. 

I’ve got that briefing, so I do not believe he should sit on there, that committee, and I believe there’s 200 other Democrats that can serve on that committee. So this has nothing to do with Santos. Santos is not on the Intel Committee. But you know what? Those voters elected Schiff, even though he lied. Those voters elected Swalwell, even though he lied to the American public too. So you know what?  I’ll respect his voters too and they’ll serve on committees, but they will not serve on a place that has national security, because integrity matters to me. That’s the answer to your question!   

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