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Kevin McCarthy condemned by Jim Acosta for allowing ‘freak show’ Republican caucus

Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy has been condemned by CNN anchor Jim Acosta for allowing his caucus to become a “freak show” amid a number of recent controversies in Congress.

The CNN anchor said on Saturday that the Republican was allowing his House caucus to become “the Trump Republican Party freak show caucus”, and referred to comments by Lauren Boebert and Paul Gosar towards Democrats in recent weeks.

Mr Acosta said Mr McCarthy “bears responsibility” for the behaviour of both Ms Boebert and Mr Gosar, who was censured last week for an animation in which US President Joe Biden and congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were murdered.

Ms Boebert was meanwhile condemned by the CNN anchor for referring to a Democrat, Ilhan Omar, as a member of the “Jihad squad”, in remarks that the Republican afterwards apologised for.

Mr Acosta told viewers that Ms Boebert appeared “to believe that trolling” and “overt racism” were a part of the “job here in Washington”, and that Mr McCarthy was failing to keep the party in check because of his appeasement of former US president, Donald Trump.

“Now where would she get that idea?”, the CNN anchor asked of Ms Boebert, before playing footage from a Trump campaign rally in which the crowd chanted “send her back” – referring to Ms Omar, who is a US citizen but was born in Somalia.

“Remember that?” Mr Acosta said of the rally. “Yes, welcome to the Trump Republican Party freak show caucus, home of Paul Gosar who was recently censured for posting a violent photoshopped anime showing him attacking prominent Democrats.”

“The freak show caucus knows the party’s current leader in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, is not going to stand in their way,” Mr Acosta said of the Republican leader, who he said has “gone from blaming Trump for January 6th to complaining that Trump should have been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.”

The remarks by the CNN anchor comes after Ms Taylor-Greene said Mr MrMcCarthy does not have “the full support” to become House speaker if the Republican Party wins the House in 2022, citing an apparent lack of support for her and other far-right Republican figures.

She followed by saying on Saturday that she had “a good call with” Mr McCarthy, and that “We spent time talking about solving problems not only in the conference, but for our country. I like what he has planned ahead”.

Mr McCarthy faces the difficult task of appeasing Mr Trump and his critics within the Republican party, as well as confronting Democrats who accuse him of failing to keep his members controlled.