Statement from RFK Jr contesting MAGA ties during committee hearing sparks fierce argument
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was given extra time at the end of a House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government hearing, sparking an argument among members.
During the hearing, Stacey Plaskett – the Democrat delegate from the Virgin Islands – accused RFK Jr. of aligning himself with ‘MAGA Republicans’ through a super PAC named Heal the Divide.
‘The MAGA Republicans know that [former President Donald Trump] benefits when Russia interferes. The same super PAC that supports Mr. Kennedy and has raised significant funds on his behalf is run by a man named Jason Boles,’ Plaskett said during the hearing.
She continued, ‘Jason Boles isn’t just a MAGA supporter. He also ran the super PAC for MAGA Republicans Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, George Santos, and in 2022, he supported Herschel Walker. So, the person behind Mr. Kennedy’s super PAC is an individual who personally and professionally wants the Republican Party to succeed. Yet, Mr. Kennedy is running as a Democrat.’
RFK Jr., given time to respond by Republican Rep. Greg Steube of Florida immediately afterward, said he did not know the Super PAC to which Plaskett was referring.
‘I’ve never heard of Mr. Boles and I’ve never heard of that super PAC,’ RFK Jr. said.
At the end of the hearing, Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, began to close the proceedings when RFK Jr. asked if he may make an additional comment.
‘No, you may not,’ Plaskett said. ‘You may not.’
‘I haven’t adjourned the hearing, and I don’t think you’re the chairman,’ Jordan replied to Plaskett. ‘It’s chairman’s discretion, we’re going to let Mr. Kennedy …’
‘I know it’s your discretion, but he has had so much additional time. Why?’ Plaskett asked.
‘Let him address the defamatory comment that was made about him that is untrue,’ Republican Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana interjected at one point.
‘That was not defamatory, that is a legal definition that was not met,’ Plaskett responded.
It is not immediately clear which ‘defamatory’ comment was being debated by Johnson and Plaskett.
Given time to speak, RFK Jr. quickly revisited the subject of Heal the Divide, reaffirming that he has never heard of it and saying that it has only a tangential connection through a third party unaffiliated with his campaign.
‘I want to acknowledge information about the super PAC that you mentioned,’ he told the committee after being given the extra time. ‘I’ve just been told that that super PAC is connected to somebody that we have a connection to. It’s not a super PAC I’ve endorsed, and it’s not one, as I said, I’ve ever heard of.’
Jordan thanked him for the statement and then formally adjourned the meeting.
RFK Jr., who is running for the Oval Office against President Biden, was invited by Republicans to testify at the Weaponization of the Federal Government subcommittee hearing.
Early in the debate – after his opening remarks – Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida moved to take the hearing into executive session to discuss RFK Jr.’s alleged violation of a House rule aimed at banning testimony that defames or degrades others.
Wasserman Schultz said the witness made ‘despicable’ antisemitic and anti-Asian comments in the last few days, referring to his comment that COVID-19 may have been ‘ethnically targeted’ because those who are most immune to COVID appear to be Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people. RFK Jr. later said he was not accusing anyone of deliberately engineering COVID to spare certain ethnic populations.
Wasserman Schultz’s move to halt the hearing and go to executive session was voted down, 10-8, thanks to the Republican majority in the committee. Some Democrats made comments like ‘no to hate speech’ as they voted against the GOP push to kill Wasserman Schultz’s motion.
Fox News Digital’s Peter Kasperowicz contributed to this report.