House Speaker McCarthy Sheds Light on Intel Committee Assignments

Special Assistant to the President for Innovation Policy and Initiatives Matt Lira speaks with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Thursday, July 11, 2019, during the Presidential Social Media Summit in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy shed light on his decision not to place Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) or Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on the House Intel Committee while answering questions in the Capitol from reporters on January 24, 2023, when asked by PBS reporter Lisa Desjardins [1] why Rep. George Santos (D-N.Y.) was assigned committee positions while Schiff and Swallwell were not after the Republicans took power in the House in January.

When PBS reporter Lisa Desjardins asked McCarthy why Santos’ admitted lying [2] wasn’t a factor for putting him on committees, the Speaker tried to respond and was interrupted by Desjardins, and that’s when he began to make himself clear, “Let me be very clear and respectful to you. You asked me a question. When I answer it, it’s the answer to your question. You don’t get to determine whether I answer your question or not, okay? In all respect”.

“The Intel Committee is different. You know why? Because what happens in the Intel Committee, you don’t know. What happens in the Intel Committee, all of the secrets of going on in the world, other members of Congress don’t know.” the Speaker continued. McCarthy outlined the events in the past that he saw as disqualifying Swalwell and Shiff from serving on Intel, “[They] can serve on a committee, but [they] will not serve on Intel because it goes to the national security of America, and I will always put them first,” McCarthy said.

Santos was appointed to the Science, Space and Technology, and Small Business committees [3]. He is alleged to have lied about his past accomplishments (graduating from college & working for investment firms).

Santos is expected to be investigated by the House Ethics Committee about the allegations. McCarthy said Tuesday that Santos will be removed from any committees assignments if he is found to have broken the law [4].


  1. ^Doornbos, C. (2023). Kevin McCarthy snaps at reporter after pulling Dems, keeping George Santos on committees. New York Post. Retrieved from (go back  ↩)
  2. ^Nava, V., & Campanile, C. (2022). Liar Rep.-elect George Santos admits fabricating key details of his bio. New York Post. Retrieved from (go back  ↩)
  3. ^ibid (go back  ↩)
  4. ^ibid (go back  ↩)

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