Republicans were reportedly invited to join Pelosi on her trip, and yet none joined, prompting a Fox anchor to call them out.
Fox News host Gillian Turner on Wednesday called out Republicans for not joining Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s recent trip to Taiwan—despite reportedly being invited—noting that their presence would have shown “solidarity.”
Pelosi’s high-profile visit to Taiwan this week prompted quite a bit of saber-rattling from the Chinese government, which viewed the rare trip from a top-ranking U.S. official as a “major political provocation” to Beijing’s sovereignty.
Additionally, as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle brace for a surge in international tensions over the trip, some are upset with the White House for seemingly hanging the speaker out to dry.
Yet, while many Republicans have issued rare bipartisan support for Pelosi visiting despite China’s threats, others have groused that the speaker did not take a GOP colleague with her.
“I support Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan unconditionally but with an explanation,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) told Fox News on Tuesday. “I’m glad the speaker went, but if she really wanted to demonstrate strength from the United States of America, she would have brought Kevin McCarthy along.”
During an appearance on Fox News’ The Faulkner Focus on Wednesday morning, McCarthy echoed those sentiments, saying Pelosi “really made a mistake” by not taking any Republican lawmakers on the trip.
“I support her going to Taiwan. I would have gone with her, had she asked,” the House minority leader said. “She didn’t take one Republican. When she went to Ukraine, she didn’t take one Republican.”
He continued: “So if you really want to make a strong statement, that America’s making a statement, don’t make it partisan, don’t take all Democrats. If you want to have Congress…speak with one voice, take people from both sides of the aisle. It didn’t have to be me. But just take another Republican. And had she done that, it’s a much stronger voice of what she is trying to do.”
McCarthy, however, neglected to note that Pelosi actually did invite at least one high-ranking Republican with her to Taiwan. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the top-ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was reportedly asked by Pelosi to go but had a personal obligation conflicting with the trip.
Fox News anchor Bret Baier also reported on Tuesday that while there “aren’t any Republicans on the delegation,” they “were invited.”
Hours after McCarthy’s interview with anchor Harris Faulkner, Turner took aim at the GOP for cheering Pelosi from the sidelines while not standing side-by-side with her.
“You have Republicans saying it’s important we don’t cave to China; any American who wants should be able to travel to Taiwan,” she said following an interview with Sen. Bill Haggerty (R-TN).
“It’s curious that no Republicans signed on to the trip with Pelosi,” Turner continued. “She invited the minority leader. She invited, according to reporting, a handful of Republicans. I wonder, why not join her in solidarity?
Co-anchor John Roberts noted that Pelosi also invited McCaul, adding that the Texas lawmaker had a scheduling conflict but that “Republicans could have gone with her.”
“You know, in a show of solidarity. It’s curious,” Turner interjected.
“Well, they’re supporting her trip, so there’s some solidarity,” Roberts stated.
“That’s true,” Turner concluded.