A report from Capitol Hill has indicated that the disagreement between Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and members of the House GOP Conference nearly devolved into a physical altercation early on Thursday.
Speaking with reporters, former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) confirmed that Gaetz interrupted him while McCarthy was speaking at the mic and the conference shouted him down. He told reporters,”I think the entire conference screamed at him. The whole country I think would scream at Matt Gaetz right now.”
However, following the press conference, Axios’ Juliegrace Brufke suggested that Congressman Mike Bost (R-IL), the Clerk of the House, responded more aggressively to Gaetz.
Brufke posted to X, “Per a source in the room, McCarthy screamed at Matt Gaetz to sit down when he went to the mics, with the source saying Rep. Bost ‘almost lunging at him.'”
Per a source in the room, McCarthy screamed at Matt Gaetz to sit down when he went to the mics, with the source saying Rep. Bost “almost lunging at him.”
— Juliegrace Brufke (@juliegraceb) October 19, 2023
Brufke explained, “McCarthy advocated for empowering McHenry while Jordan stayed on as speaker designee, per two sources.”
Malanie Zanona, Capitol Hill reporter for CNN, seemed to confirm the situation, writing,
“THINGS not going so great in GOP conference, which turned heated, I’m told. At one point, Gaetz was told to sit down by McCarthy and refused, then Rep. Bost “got all emotional” and “was cussing at him” and “telling him it’s all his fault,” one member said.
Other Republicans stood up and expressed fury over Jordan for backing the empowering McHenry resolution, and suggested it was a self serving move. Some members encouraged him to drop out of speaker’s race.
There was ALSO an emotional and heated discussion over the death threats and menacing messages that some Jordan holdouts are now facing.”
🚨Report: Mike Bost tried to fight Matt Gaetz in the GOO conference meeting this morning. pic.twitter.com/GvOwI27l1O
— The Calvin Coolidge Project (@TheCalvinCooli1) October 19, 2023
Bost and Gaetz have had an adversarial past, notably, he rose and shouted at Gaetz during the January fight for the Speakership when the Florida Congressman criticized McCarthy as reported by Greg Price.
In a statement posted to X on Oct. 13th, Bost indicated his support for Jordan, writing, “I am proud to support Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House. Jim is a conservative fighter who cares deeply for this country. At a time when we face serious challenges at home and abroad, House Republicans can’t afford to wait another moment to unify and get back to governing. When the House meets behind closed doors this afternoon, I’ll be voting for Jim Jordan; and Ill do the same when his nomination comes to the House floor.”
In a later post to X, following the meeting with Gaetz and McCarthy, he didn’t address the alleged near altercation but instead reiterated his support for Jordan, writing, “I support #JordanForSpeaker. If he brings another vote to the House floor today, I’ll vote for him again. What I don’t support is a plan to extend short-term powers to a temporary Speaker. We need to secure the border, aid Israel, and pass fiscally conservative spending bills by mid-November. We don’t get these goals achieved with a placeholder.”
We need to secure the border, aid Israel, and pass fiscally conservative spending bills by mid-November. We don’t get these goals achieved with a placeholder.
— Rep. Mike Bost (@RepBost) October 19, 2023