Thursday, February 2, 2023
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House GOP’s No. 2 Scalise Meets Privately With Gaetz Over Comments About Congressman in Leaked Tapes

'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... '

(Headline USA) House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., met privately with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., this week to discuss leaked recordings in which Scalise and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., could be heard bashing former President Donald Trump and Republican congressmen who supported him, Gaetz included.

The private sitdown on Wednesday followed scathing rebukes from Gaetz, who blasted Scalise and McCarthy as “weak” leaders.

“I said: ‘I’m sorry if this caused you problems,’” Scalise told Politico. “I still haven’t been able to get all the details of what those accusations were, but I was being told things, and I know members were getting death threats and I was just very sensitive to that.”

In the recordings, Scalise said Gaetz’s actions after the Jan. 6 Capitol protests were “potentially illegal.” 

Gaetz has pressed Scalise to either issue a retraction of this statement or a clarification, but Scalise has not yet elaborated on his views about Jan. 6 and whether they’ve changed.

“There were a lot of things that we were being told,” Scalise said.

“Some turned out to be accurate, some not. In his case, we haven’t gotten the details of the things that were all said about him. But, you know, clearly those things didn’t happen, because he was never charged with anything related to it.”

When asked about how his sit-down with Scalise went, Gaetz said: “I want to reflect on it further.”

Gaetz was one of several Republicans who demanded apologies from the Republican leaders over their past remarks.

“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,” he said in a statement. “You just have to listen to their own words as they disparage Trump and the Republicans in Congress who fought for him.”

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