Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) fired back at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for vowing to oust Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee for investigating alleged ties between former President Trump’s campaign and Russia operatives.
“McCarthy’s problem is not with what I have said about Russia,” Schiff told CNN host Dana Bash. “McCarthy’s problem is, he can’t get to 218 without Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar and Matt Gaetz. And so he will do whatever they ask. And, right now, they’re asking for me to be removed from our committees. And he’s willing to do it. He’s willing to do anything they ask. And that’s the problem.”
McCarthy is running to become Speaker when the next Congress convenes and has been vocal about his plans for if he takes the top spot, vowing to remove Schiff and Democratic Reps. Eric Swalwell (Calif.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) from their committee positions for opposing Trump.
McCarthy won the House GOP nomination to be Speaker in a 188-31 vote, but he needs to secure a majority of a floor vote among the full lower chamber to secure the gavel. He needs 218 votes to be elected Speaker, so he can only afford 4 defections from his own party and so far five GOP lawmakers have said they will not vote for him.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) suggested in a recent interview with NBC News that McCarthy is getting ahead of himself because “he doesn’t have the votes” to become speaker.
Meanwhile, Schiff said that McCarthy faces an uphill battle to get 218 votes because “he has no core set of beliefs.”
“Kevin McCarthy has no ideology. He has no core set of beliefs. It’s very hard not only to get to 218 that way — it’s even more difficult to keep 218. That’s his problem,” Schiff said on Sunday.
“So, he will misrepresent my record. He will misrepresent Eric Swalwell or Ilhan Omar, whatever he needs to do to get the votes of the QAnon caucus within his conference.”
Schiff also shut down McCarthy’s criticisms of his Trump-Russia probe, defending his assertions that there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“McCarthy apparently doesn’t think it’s collusion if your campaign manager is giving inside polling data and battle strategy in key states to an agent of Russian intelligence, while the Russians are helping your campaign, but most Americans would call that collusion,” Schiff said.
"That's the problem. Kevin McCarthy has no ideology, he has no core set of beliefs."
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) responds after Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) vows to remove him from the House Intelligence Committee if he becomes the House Speaker. @CNNSotu #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/m2FMFNaWcO
— CNN (@CNN) November 27, 2022