Kevin McCarthy and George Santos have turned their fire on fellow Republicans following their respective ousters — the former from the House speakership in October and the latter from Congress last week.
McCarthy has been palpably perturbed by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., leading the effort to strip him of his gavel. (Hard to blame the California Republican, given the relentless mockery he's faced). And amid speculation he may consider stepping down before his term ends next year, McCarthy recently suggested that Gaetz should be behind bars.
McCarthy, when asked about Florida Republicans, told Politico: "You have a cross section. You have Gaetz, who belongs in jail, and you have serious members.”
It wasn’t clear what McCarthy was referring to, although some people speculated he was making reference to a House ethics investigation — reportedly revived this year — into allegations of sexual misconduct and misuse of funds. (Gaetz has denied any wrondgoing. The Justice Department investigated allegations against him, including alleged sex trafficking, but the department ultimately did not charge him.)
It sure seems like McCarthy wants to stir the pot a bit in the GOP caucus.
Santos, for his part, is going scorched earth with regard to some his former colleagues. The serial liar — who was the subject of a damning House ethics report last month — told reporters “to hell with this place” after the House voted to expel him on Friday. In social media posts, Santos vowed to file ethics complaints against multiple New York Republicans who led the GOP push to remove him.
Santos also claimed he’d file a complaint against Democratic Rep. Rob Menendez of New Jersey, whose father — Sen. Bob Menendez — is facing federal bribery charges. (The elder Menendez has pleaded not guilty. Santos acknowledged that Rep. Menendez was "not invoked" by the DOJ investigation.)
Santos and McCarthy are both giving me Madison Cawthorn vibes with their vengeful — and almost exclusively conservative — targeting of their colleagues. The Republican infighting is sure to please Democrats.