An exclusive by The New York Times‘ political correspondents Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin reveal never before heard audio of a conversation between House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Wyo. Rep. Liz Cheney was joined by Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders following the Capitol unrest of January 6, 2021.
McCarthy condemned the attack on Capitol Hill, but he has been a loyal supporter of former President Donald J. Trump in both front of news cameras as well as in print. These conversations show that McCarthy is frustrated by how to handle January 6, and hold Trump responsible for his actions at the Capitol.
These conversations were excerpted from Burns’ and Martin’s latest book, This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future.
Start at The New York Times report:
After the attack on Capitol Building, Jan. 6, Representative Kevin McCarthy, and Senator Mitch McConnell were both top Republicans in Congress. In those days, they told associates they thought President Trump incited the deadly Riot and promised to expel him from politics.
Mr. McCarthy went so far as to say he would push Mr. Trump to resign immediately: “I’ve had it with this guy,” he told a group of Republican leaders, according to an audio recording of the conversation obtained by The New York Times.
In one January 10, 2021 phone conversation with Cheney, McCarthy discussed the Democrat’s push for a second impeachment, and potential odds on whether the President would resign. Cheney wanted to know if McCarthy thought the President would accept an offer of resignation in order to prevent impeachment. McCarthy expressed doubt at this proposition, but said that he would call President Trump and say, “it would be my recommendation you should resign.”
The New York Times In the article, you will find the audio recording from that conversation.
— Jean (@jeanvas5) April 22, 2022
This new audio belies McCarthy’s public face on January 6, where he strongly recommended investigation into the Capitol attacks, then did an about face after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the addition of Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and Ind. Rep. Jim Banks was appointed to the J-6 Commission. McCarthy is openly critical and refuses to testify before this panel.
Audio of McCarthy saying Trump has responsibility for Jan 6th & Trump admitted responsibility. He urges for an investigation into the attack.
McCarthy said he didn’t recall telling members Trump took responsibility.https://t.co/J5hGtKI5dO pic.twitter.com/zCHVrZIxMI
— Manuel de los Reyes (@MaxogramManuel) April 22, 2022
Many Republicans and Trump supporters have had their doubts about Leader Kevin McCarthy’s allegiance to Trump and his America First agenda. Although Trump and Mitch McConnell have had a difficult relationship, McCarthy has managed to maintain his good will and work with McConnell towards unifying the Republican message for Congress.
McCarthy is determined to become Speaker of the House if the Republicans win the House seat in 2022. In light of this new audio showing McCarthy’s feelings at that time towards the former president, and McCarthy’s dissembling stance on the issues surrounding January 6, this could well be a roadblock in his path.