Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) is accusing Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) of being manipulated by Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, after the Florida lawmaker successfully led the effort to remove Kevin McCarthy as Speaker.
“Matt Gaetz just got schooled by AOC and others; he was totally manipulated into doing this,” Graves said, according to The Hill. “I can’t believe he’s that stupid to be used, to be manipulated by AOC and others to create this outcome.”
Gaetz filed a motion to vacate on Monday days after McCarthy relied on House Democrats to pass a bill to extend government funding for 45 days to avert a shutdown.
Only eight Republicans, including Gaetz, voted for the motion to vacate the speakership, but it was enough to oust McCarthy when combined with the votes of all 206 Democrats present in the chamber on Tuesday.
Graves, a close ally of the now ousted Speaker McCarthy, has been critical of Gaetz since he led the effort to boot McCarthy from the position. He has called Gaetz a “clown” and said the Florida congressman “would be a great dictator on a small island nation or something.”