McCarthy reprimands Gaetz during Republican gathering: ‘Take your seat.’

During a private meeting among Republican representatives, ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy from California reprimanded Florida’s Representative Matt Gaetz for attempting to cut into his speech.

This incident occurred amidst a lengthy, nearly four-hour discussion among House Republicans, who were deliberating over their future strategy and leadership choices. This was particularly due to the turmoil caused when Gaetz, along with a faction of seven other Republicans, sided with the Democrats in a move that effectively removed McCarthy from his position. While the conference subsequently put forward Jim Jordan of Ohio as a nominee for Speaker, he was unable to clinch the position in two subsequent votes.

Participants recounted the session as being highly charged.

Tensions flared when McCarthy, who was addressing those assembled, referred to Gaetz directly, prompting him to stand and interject, as confirmed by an attendee. McCarthy’s response was swift and stern, instructing Gaetz in no uncertain terms to retake his seat, leading to a brief verbal exchange between the two.

Another lawmaker, Mike Bost from Illinois, seemed particularly agitated by the confrontation, appearing as though he might physically intervene.

However, McCarthy downplayed the notion that he shouted at Gaetz, simply stating that he instructed him to sit after an unwarranted interruption. He emphasized that the frustration toward Gaetz was widespread, not just within the conference but potentially across the nation, given the precarious position Gaetz’s actions had placed the party in.

In response, Gaetz seemed to misunderstand McCarthy’s intentions when his name was mentioned, believing he was being given a chance to speak. He brushed off the incident, attributing McCarthy’s reaction to a momentary temper flare. Gaetz, drawing from his background in law, expressed his preference for calm and reasoned debate over emotionally charged interactions.