A day after Rep. Kevin McCarthy abruptly dropped out of the race for Speaker of the House, Rep. Renee Ellmers stood in front of her GOP colleagues on Friday to speak out against ‘crazy bats’ rumors that they were having an affair.
Republicans had been inundated with daily emails from Chicago GOP donor Steven Baer claiming the two married lawmakers were involved in a romantic relationship.
In a closed-door meeting, Ellmers took the microphone to deny the allegation, calling it “crazy bats”.
She also apologized to her fellow lawmakers, not for wrongdoing, but for the flood of emails and for putting them in the middle of a controversy.
“There was no apology for anything to do with the allegations, and there shouldn’t have been any, as no allegations were substantiated,” said Rep. David Jolly (R- Fla.) To The Post, adding that Ellmers had done a round. applause.
Ellmers (R-NC) then released a statement saying she was the victim of a smear campaign.
“As someone who has been the target of completely false accusations and innuendoes, I have been moved by the outpouring of support and prayers from my colleagues, constituents and friends. Now I will pray for those who find it acceptable to bear false witness, ”the statement read.
The allegations aired on Wikipedia on Thursday when the entry pages for McCarthy, 50, and Ellmers, 51, were changed from an Internet address assigned to the Department of Homeland Security.
The agency said on Friday it was trying to find the culprit.
Baer did not respond to requests for comment by phone and email.
Members mostly ignored the emails as nonsense.
“It’s just stupidity,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) Said.
But some admitted the allegations came to mind when McCarthy, a Californian who was the frontrunner to succeed outgoing House Speaker John Boehner, made a surprising about-face and gave up.
“How is it not?” said a lawmaker, speaking anonymously.
The leadership elections have been postponed until further notice.
Republicans are pushing Representative Paul Ryan, the party’s 2012 running mate, to take the job. But he declined.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) Described the efforts to cuddle Ryan as intense.
“I did everything except carry his gym bag this morning,” he said.