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GOP senator knocks Pelosi for not bringing McCarthy to Taiwan

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) questions Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell answers questions during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing for the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
Greg Nash
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) questions Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell answers questions during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing for the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday for not bringing a Republican on her trip to Taiwan, adding she failed to show strength because her congressional delegation was not bipartisan and accusing her of making the visit to boost her ego.

Kennedy told Fox News host Martha MacCallum on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” the Speaker should have included House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on her delegation that traveled to the self-governing island nation off the coast of China.

“I support Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan unconditionally but with an explanation,” Kennedy said. “I’m glad the Speaker went, but if she really wanted to demonstrate strength from the United States of America, she would have brought Kevin McCarthy along.

“But no, it’s her. It’s the Speaker Pelosi show,” the senator added. “And the added benefit of all this is that we’re not talking about inflation or crime or the open border or her husband’s stock trades.”

Pelosi made a surprise appearance in Taiwan during her East Asia trip, touching down on the island on Monday night despite repeated warnings from China, which is now preparing for massive military drills and exercise around the country.

She became the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Taiwan in 25 years, drawing international headlines for the stopover.

The other members of the congressional delegation are Democratic Reps. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.), Mark Takano (Calif.), Suzan DelBene (Wash.), Raja Krishnamoorthi (Ill.) and Andy Kim (N.J.).

While planning the trip, Pelosi did invite Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), but he was unable to attend because of a prior commitment.

Pelosi has said the trip portrays a strong U.S. commitment to the defense of Taiwan amid fears that China will invade the nation.

It’s also a direct counter to Chinese threats and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who warned the U.S. would be “playing with fire” if Pelosi stopped in Taiwan.

Kennedy told MacCallum on Tuesday that Pelosi was making the trip more about her than the U.S., saying the “entire exercise began with Speaker Pelosi’s ego.”

“I think she thought up this trip as a way to say, well, look at me one more time,” Kennedy said. “As petty and self-absorbed as Washington looks like from the outside, you ought to see it from the inside. This entire exercise began with Speaker Pelosi’s ego.”

“Now, when you’re talking about a nuclear war with China, you should take your ego out back and shoot it,” he added. “But that’s not Speaker Pelosi’s way. She knows, after the midterms, she’s not going to be Speaker anymore. She may not be in Congress anymore.”

Tags China John Kennedy John Kennedy Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy Martha MacCallum Michael McCaul Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi Taiwan United States Xi Jinping
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