Former Rep. Trey Gowdy denied Monday Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s claim that he left Congress for a “fat lobbyist paycheck,” calling the allegation “demonstrably and factually untrue.”
“There are a million things that you can legitimately criticize me for, and if she’s struggling to come up with a list, my wife is happy to help, but I’m not a lobbyist,” Mr. Gowdy said on Fox’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”
“I’m not going to be a fat lobbyist, I’m not going to be a skinny lobbyist, a plus-sized one — I’m not lobbying at all,” he said. “That’s a factual matter.”
Ms. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, blasted the former congressman in a Jan. 4 tweet, saying he “foamed at the mouth with power in Congress, then retired because he claimed he didn’t enjoy it. Now it’s clear: Trey Gowdy just wanted a fat lobbyist paycheck. This should be illegal.”
She added: “We need a lifetime ban on lobbying for members of Congress.”
The South Carolina Republican opted not to seek re-election in 2018, instead returning to his former law firm, Nelson, Mullins Riley & Scarborough, to work on its White Collar Defense & Government Investigations team from its offices in Greenville, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C., according to a press release.
“She just happened to stumble upon the one thing that is demonstrably and factually untrue,” Mr. Gowdy said.
He said he didn’t mind the criticism — “actually, being criticized by Elizabeth Warren helps me in South Carolina” — but was bothered by her decision to level the accusation without first verifying its accuracy.
“What I do mind, and what several of my Democrat colleagues correctly pointed out over the weekend — if you’re going to criticize the president and other people for being loose with the facts, don’t be loose with the facts yourself,” he said. “She’s running for president of the United States, and she kicks it off by making a demonstrably false allegation against a former colleague. I don’t get it.”
He swung back on Twitter by saying, “Perhaps you were cracking open a beer when that was announced,” referring to her much-discussed Instagram video in which she takes a swig from a bottle of Michelob Ultra.
Ms. Warren has formed an exploratory committee as she considers a run for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.