Georgia Republican Representative Austin Scott was called out by CNN anchor Brianna Keilar after he tried to blame Democrats for providing "96 percent of the votes" to oust now-former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Scott's claim was odd because it conveniently ignored the fact that the "motion to vacate" McCarthy's speakership was initiated by Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz.
During the interview, Scott engaged in what Keilar referred to as "verbal gymnastics" by attempting to place responsibility for the situation on Democrats, even though it was precipitated and ultimately put over the top by his fellow Republicans.
You can watch their exchange in the video below.
Scott, who briefly pursued the Speaker position himself, claimed Democrats "knew what they were doing when they put up 208 votes to take him out of the speakership, and that's what created the current situation," a declaration that prompted Keilar to remind him that Republicans "are the majority" in the House of Representatives.
But Scott danced around this important fact, saying "there were only eight Republicans and there were 208 Democrats" who voted to oust McCarthy, a claim that ignored that it was the Republicans who initiated the vote to end McCarthy's tenure.
Keilar was forced to press Scott further:
“But sir, who’s in the majority?”
Scott ignored this point once again, only responding:
“Well, the Democrats were the majority of that vote."
Keilar dismissed Scott's statement and eventually got him to admit that "Republicans are in the majority" of the House even though he continued to insist that Democrats provided the majority of the votes to remove McCarthy.
She said that “the Republicans provided the key votes” but once again stressed that Republicans form the majority in the House and "can provide enough votes, obviously, to put a Republican speaker in place.”
Scott remained adamant, underscoring the substantial number of Democratic votes to remove McCarthy. In response, Keilar described his rhetoric as "some interesting verbal gymnastics." In light of this, Scott expressed his displeasure at being called out, claiming he was "calling out the facts."
But Keilar promptly shut him down:
"I'm talking about how it works. And that is, the majority in the House of Representatives—your party—is responsible for electing the speaker, not the Democrats.”
Scott was criticized after the clip of their exchange went viral.
McCarthy's ouster made him the first Speaker in U.S. history to be removed during a legislative session.
Since then, Republicans have been largely split on whom to elect as their next leader and attempts by Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise and Ohio Representative Jim Jordan to garner support have largely collapsed.
News outlets reported earlier today that Jordan is withdrawing from the race and is backing a plan to put North Carolina Representative Patrick Henry, the caretaker Speaker, in charge of the House until January.