burning bridges

Matt Gaetz throws hissy fit after secret recordings released

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (Photo: YouTube)

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has lashed out at two of his GOP colleagues, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), after the New York Times published a leaked recording of a call between the pair.

The conference call took place on January 10, 2021, days after the Capitol Insurrection. McCarthy airs his frustrations with some in the GOP, saying people like Gaetz were “putting people in jeopardy … And he doesn’t need to be doing this. We saw what people would do in the Capitol, you know, and these people came prepared with rope, with everything else.”

“These members calling out other members, that stuff’s got to stop. The tension is too high. The country is too crazy. I do not want to look back and think we caused something … I don’t want to play politics with any of that.”

Scalise also singled out Gaetz and his criticism of Liz Cheney (R-WY): “This is serious stuff. It has to stop,” he said. “It’s potentially illegal what he’s doing.”

The audio recordings were obtained for the upcoming book, This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future, written by two New York Times reporters: Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns.

After the audio was published, Gaetz posted a statement on Twitter blasting his colleagues as “weak men”.

“Rep McCarthy and Rep. Scalise held views about President Trump and me that they shared on sniveling calls with Liz Cheney, not us,” Gaetz said. “This is the behavior of weak men, not leaders.

“Folks know what I think because I tell them clearly, directly, as I did when I held the largest event in Wyoming political history (without a rodeo element) days after these recordings were taken.”

Gaetz continued, “Whilst I was protecting President Trump from impeachment, they were protecting Liz Cheney from criticism. They deemed it incendiary or illegal to call Cheney and Kinzinger ‘Anti-Trump,’ a label both proudly advertise today.

“On the bright side, you no longer have to be a lobbyist with a $5,000 check to know what McCarthy and Scalise really think. You just have to listen to their own words as they disparage Trump and the Republicans in Congress who fight for him.”

Related: About 30 people showed up for Matt Gaetz’s big reelection campaign kick off event

This is not the first time Gaetz has criticized McCarthy. He and others on the far-right of the GOP have accused McCarthy of being a RINO (Republican In Name Only). Perhaps with an eye on retaining his role as GOP leader, especially if Republicans takes control of the house later this year, McCarthy has since appeared less openly critical of Trump and the more MAGA-supporting parts of the party in recent months.

That said, Gaetz’s particularly bitchy attack on both McCarthy and Scalise, supposedly his Republican superiors, is unusual.

Many delighted at the in-fighting.

Related: Liz Cheney makes homophobic dig at Matt Gaetz, once again proving they’re both awful

Others mocked Gaetz’s comment about his Wyoming rally.