House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called out House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, saying he is inconsistent, following leaked audio recordings and a recent incident involving another GOP representative and a gun at an airport.
During her Friday morning press briefing, Pelosi stated her surprise about what she viewed as inconsistency from the California representative. In newly released audio recordings, supposedly of McCarthy days after the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol attack, McCarthy can be heard raising concerns about some members of his caucus, saying that their words were putting the safety of lawmakers at risk, according to NBC News.
When asked about Republicans in the House, Pelosi brought up the audio recordings, supposedly of McCarthy, in which specific GOP House members are mentioned. McCarthy said their words could incite violence against legislators.
“It was interesting to me that the leader talked about the concern that he had, if in fact, those were were his words, which that’s up to you to decide, that he was concerned about his members causing danger here, and at the same time, complaining that we have magnetometers to keep guns off the floor of the House,” Pelosi said.
The magnetometers, or metal detectors, according to Roll Call, were put into place near the House floor for lawmakers to pass through days after the riot at the Capitol. McCarthy has stated his intention to have them removed.
Pelosi then mentioned the recent incident involving North Carolina Representative Madison Cawthorn, who on Tuesday was found in possession of a loaded gun at Charlotte Douglass International Airport.
“It just seemed inconsistent to me, especially now that one of his members was seen taking a gun into an airport. I thought you were arrested for that, trying to take a gun on a plane. I guess he was, his member was treated differently,” she said.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department confirmed through a series of social media postings that the incident took place, saying that the firearm was found in his luggage. Officers said that Cawthorn, who admitted the firearm was his, was cooperative and ultimately cited for possession of a dangerous weapon.
Tuesday’s incident was not the first time Cawthorn was found with a gun at an airport. In February of 2021, a Glock 9mm handgun was found in his carry-on luggage at Asheville Regional Airport. He also was accused of carrying a knife into a school board meeting last year.
McCarthy has been asked by the House committee investigating the January 6 riot to voluntarily answer questions about last year’s incident at the Capitol after the leaked audio tapes.
Newsweek reached out to the offices of Pelosi, McCarthy and Cawthorn for comment.