Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) reportedly had a heated discussion behind closed doors on Thursday after Gaetz claimed McCarthy was behind a social media campaign aimed at the Florida Republican, which the Speaker rejected.
The argument between the two men took place during heightened hostilities at the House GOP’s conference meeting, with Gaetz publicly threatening to trigger a vote to remove McCarthy as speaker if he does not comply with a number of budget and legislation-related demands.
“I asked McCarthy a direct question: Were you out there paying for people to try to create a false negative sentiment about me online? And his non sequitur retort was that he was giving out two and a half million dollars to other Republicans at breakfast. And I asked him how much of that money he’d gotten from FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried.” Gaetz said in a statement to The Hill.
According to the congressman, McCarthy, however, denied any involvement in the anti-Gaetz effort; earlier this week, his outside legal counsel delivered a cease-and-desist letter to the person behind the solicitations.
The altercation started after social media posts featuring screenshots of messages people got from accounts looking for help with advocacy work “against Gaetz and the government shutdown” went viral on Tuesday.
Tuesday, McCarthy’s outside attorney Elliot S. Berke sent a cease-and-desist letter to the person thought to be responsible for the solicitations.