House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) got into a heated exchange over why he supported former President Donald Trump‘s challenge to electoral votes in Congress while opposing a challenge from a Democratic House candidate who lost their election.
During a press conference on Thursday, McCarthy was asked what the difference is between Trump’s efforts to overturn the presidential election and Iowa Democrat Rita Hart’s decision to contest her election loss in the House.
CNN’s Manu Raju asked, “In your view, what is different between the efforts there to overturn the elections in the House versus Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the elections in Congress that you supported?”
“Well, I disagree with the premise of your question,” McCarthy responded as he claimed Trump’s challenge of electoral votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania would not have changed the election outcome.
However, Trump’s campaign filed dozens of lawsuits contesting the election results in battleground states that he lost, which could have changed the outcome of the election if they were successful — which they were not.
Additionally, members of Congress were initially expected to challenge the electoral votes in as many as five battleground states when lawmakers met to certify the Electoral College vote.
When asked if he regretted supporting a lawsuit from the state of Texas that sought to disqualify the electoral votes of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — which President Joe Biden won — McCarthy said, “No, no, no, no I don’t.”
“You know why? Because it’s going to the court,” he added.
Additionally, he argued that he “should have” supported the Texas lawsuit “because that’s where you go” for election disputes.
Watch the video below:
McCarthy noted that Hart brought her dispute to the House instead of going to a court to dispute her loss, which Raju confirmed was correct.
Raju said Hart went to Congress to dispute the election loss because “she didn’t have time.”
However, McCarthy shot back, “No, no, no,no, she did not say she didn’t have time. Do you know what she said? ‘Because that’s the place I can get the outcome I want.’ That’s that she said.”
“So the premise of your question doesn’t work…She didn’t go to the courts. Did she win it on election day? No. Did she win it in the recount? No. Speaker Pelosi says it’s just six votes. She’s got six members that’s going to disenfranchise the more than 400,000 people that voted in that district. Pure politics…Don’t mistake things that aren’t the same,” he added.
Hart, who lost her election bid in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District by six votes to Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks, asked the House to investigate and overturn the election as she claims 22 votes were not counted, which would change the outcome of the election.
“After reviewing those ballots and making sure they are counted, it will be clear that I have won this election. It is crucial to me to make sure that this bipartisan review by the U.S. House is fair. Iowans deserve to know that the candidate who earned the most votes is seated,” Hart said of the dispute.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) agreed to provisionally seat Miller-Meeks while Hart’s dispute was investigated.
She told reporters last week that “of course” there is a chance the House will overturn the election results of the Iowa race.