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Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, called some of his fellow lawmakers “scumbags” on Sunday as GOP infighting has reached new heights in the House.

Gonzales, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” was asked whether he believes House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., will survive an effort to remove him from his leadership post. The House was effectively frozen for weeks last year after a handful of Republican rebels voted alongside Democrats to remove then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., has threatened to try to do the same to Johnson.

Gonzales had some sharp words to say about his colleagues: most notably, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

“It’s my absolute honor to be in Congress, but I serve with some real scumbags,” Gonzales said, alleging that Matt Gaetz sexually assaulted minors “at drug parties.”

In 2021, the Justice Department opened an investigation into Gaetz over alleged cash payments made in exchange for sex, including to an underage girl.

The department in 2023 dropped charges against Gaetz after prosecutors said there were credibility issues with two key witnesses. He is still under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

Gaetz responded to Gonzales’ Sunday comments in a post on X, accusing him of lying and calling on voters to support his GOP opponent. Gaetz has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The Texas lawmaker also criticized Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., for supporting his Republican opponent, Brandon Herrera, a gun rights activist. Gonzales alleged that Herrera is a “known neo-Nazi” and referred to the Ku Klux Klan.

It was not immediately clear what Gonzales was referencing. Jewish insider reported earlier this month that Herrera has posted videos online featuring Nazi imagery. His campaign did not respond to a request for comment from Jewish Insider.

Herrera rejected Gonzales’ comments on Sunday, sharing in a post on X: “He has to cry to his liberal friends about me, because Republicans won’t listen anymore.”

The Republican Party of Texas voted to censure Gonzales last year over his positions on a range of issues, including supporting some gun safety laws following the Uvalde school shooting.

Gonzales on Sunday said more centrist members of Congress are “tired” and “exhausted.”

“For some reason, these fringe people think as if they have the high ground. They do not, I assure you,” he said, adding “The way you take care of a bully is you bloody their nose.”

This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: GOP lawmaker Tony Gonzales has strong words for fellow Republicans

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