Is Rep. Renee Ellmers having an affair with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy? Ellmers finally spoke out about the pesky gossip threatening to derail her political career.
According to Roll Call, the rumors of the North Carolina congresswoman’s alleged involvement with McCarthy have been circulating for some time now. So when the California Republican abruptly dropped out of the race for House Speaker, all eyes were almost immediately on Ellmers.
ELLMERS stood up in the closed GOP mtg & thanked members for support after a guy said she’s having affair w McCarthy http://t.co/OINRlOUuHR
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 9, 2015
Why did Kevin McCarthy suddenly take his hat out of the ring? The timing is a bit suspicious to some, as it came after North Carolina Republican Walter Jones sent a potentially condemning email to Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington. The email requested anyone who’d committed “misdeeds” since joining Congress to drop out of contention for Speaker of the House. Jones later told Roll Call that he wasn’t singling out the Majority Leader or Rep. Renee Ellmers when he wrote his letter; he had simply heard rumors of an extramarital affair involving members of Congress.
Still, the timing is such that it made more than a few persons jump to the conclusion that McCarthy was afraid his alleged illicit behavior with Ellmers would soon be exposed. Politico writes that those close to both Renee and Kevin consider the accusation of an affair to be “unfounded.” Not only that but allies of the pair claim the ugly rumor is being purposely spread on Capitol Hill by “a discredited troublemaker.” The person is supposedly a “right-wing activist” with a tendency to send spam messages to Republican politicians.
Be that as it may, some think the abruptness of McCarthy’s withdrawal points to some form of wrongdoing, rather than less exciting explanations. For instance, some suspect the reason he has pulled out of possible consideration for House Speaker simply because he doesn’t have the votes. There’s also the belief that McCarthy may feel the role is best suited to “a fresh face.”
— New York Post (@nypost) October 10, 2015
Meanwhile, Renee Ellmers is doing her best to weather the storm in the wake of being called out for an alleged affair. The Associated Press reports that the North Carolina congresswoman has expressed gratitude to her fellow Republicans for support offered during a closed-door meeting. The AP has been able to reveal that she’d made statements about her difficult week after hearing from two Republicans who attended the meeting, but only agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity.
According to eyewitness accounts, Renee Ellmers spoke on the subject of rumors the same morning McCarthy withdrew his name from consideration for House Speaker. He was not present at the time Ellmers spoke. The Associated Press said Rep. Ellmers released a more detailed statement about the situation at a later time.
“As someone who has been targeted by completely false accusations and innuendo, I have been moved by the outpouring of support and prayers from my colleagues, constituents, and friends. Now I will be praying for those who find it acceptable to bear false witness.”
It’s noted that Renee Ellmers doesn’t mention Kevin McCarthy by name nor did Ellmers specify the exact nature of the “false accusations and innuendo.” Perhaps it is her way of refusing to dignify such claims against her. Politico reported that Ellmers’ attorney sent a “cease-and-desist” letter to GotNews.com earlier this week when the site claimed Ellmers and McCarthey were in the midst of a long-standing affair. The site also stated that rumors about an ongoing relationship between Renee Ellmers and Kevin McCarthy have circulated for years.
— Esquire Magazine (@esquire) October 9, 2015
Although Renee Ellmers took the time to address the rumors, The AP was not able to get a statement from Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s spokesman at this time.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]