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Matt Gaetz Says Hakeem Jeffries Is ‘Just A Frontman,’ Pelosi Still Leads House Dems

Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz said Sunday that House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries is “just a front man,” and that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “still rules with an iron fist,” during an appearance on Newsmax.

Gaetz made the comment while explaining why Republicans have had more public infighting than the Democrats. His recent motion to vacate led to the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Gaetz said it is Pelosi’s control of House Democrats which allows them to stay in lockstep.

“By the way, she’s still the one in charge of that conference,” Gaetz continued on Newsmax’s “Sunday Agenda.” “I mean, Hakeem Jeffries is the front man, but the person who’s really calling the shots among the Democrats is Nancy Pelosi.”

Pelosi, who served multiple stints as House speaker beginning in 2007, stepped down as speaker after the Democrats lost their House majority in 2022, at which point McCarthy began his ill-fated tenure. After Pelosi stepped down, Jeffries took the lead of House Democrats as minority leader in the next session of Congress.

In the same interview, Gaetz speculated that on the Republican side, the vote on Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan was delayed to Tuesday in order for moderate Republicans to reinsert McCarthy into the speaker position. Gaetz supports Jordan in his bid for the House speakership.

“We should not go backward with Kevin McCarthy,” Gaetz said. “We should go forward with Jim Jordan.”

Pelosi and Jeffries did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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