Kevin McCarthy Accuses Nancy Pelosi of Trying to Turn U.S. Capitol Into a 'Fortress'

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) of seeking to turn the Capitol into a "fortress" as he criticized the "partisan appointment" of retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré to lead a security review.

The GOP condemned Pelosi's appointment of Honoré—who served as commanding general of the U.S. First Army at Georgia's Fort Gillem—due to his previous criticism of Capitol Police and Republican lawmakers following the January 6 riot.

McCarthy said he met with Honoré and asked him about his past statements, including an "inflammatory accusation" regarding Capitol Police's alleged complicity in the riots. Honoré responded his statements were made before his appointment, McCarthy said.

Honoré had previously said Capitol Police members "allowed their buddies" among the rioters to breach the Capitol. He also claimed "30 to 40 percent" of the officers were "Trumpsters."

"I've just never seen so much incompetence, so they're either that stupid, or ignorant or complicit," Honoré said in an interview with FOX 8. "I think they were complicit."

"While there may be some worthy recommendations forthcoming, General Honore's notorious partisan bias calls into question the rationality of appointing him to lead this important security review," McCarthy said.

"It also raises the unacceptable possibility that the Speaker desired a certain result: turning the Capitol into a fortress."

General Honore's notorious partisan bias calls into question the rationality of appointing him to lead such an important security review.

It also raises the unacceptable possibility that Speaker Pelosi desired a certain result: turning the Capitol into a fortress.

My statement:

— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) March 7, 2021

Last week, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee wrote to Pelosi, asking her to clarify whether she was aware of Honoré's "inflammatory statements" prior to selecting him to lead the security review, and whether her office encouraged Honoré to delete some critical social media posts.

According to the letter, Honoré had called for Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) to be placed on a no fly list, and for Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) to be "run out of DC" for contesting President Joe Biden's Electoral College win.

"LTG Honoré is entitled to his personal opinions, but we are concerned that his selection will undermine the serious purpose of this review: to develop a fair and clear-eyed assessment of the systemic security and leadership failures concerning the events of January 6," the letter read.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a signatory to the letter, last month said: "Pelosi hired a bigot to hunt MAGA."

According to a copy of the security review published by The New York Times last week, the task force led by Honoré found the Capitol Police to have been "understaffed, insufficiently equipped, and inadequately trained" during the January 6 attack.

The report made recommendations to improve the Capitol Police's efficiency, physical infrastructure surrounding the building, as well as lawmakers' safety beyond Capitol grounds.

"Threats against the Capitol and Members have shifted dramatically, both in volume and nature," the report said.

"Today's threats are not only more numerous but increasingly come from domestic elements. Individuals and groups advocating extremist views actively use the internet to propagandize, recruit, radicalize, and organize political violence such as the Capitol Attack.

"The [Capitol Police] is not postured to track, assess, plan against, or respond to this plethora of threats due to significant capacity shortfalls, inadequate training, immature processes, and an operating culture that is not intelligence-driven."

Newsweek has asked Pelosi's office for comment.

Kevin McCarthy speaks at CPAC
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Leader, participates in a discussion during the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 27, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images