A new recording of a phone call from shortly after January 6th, 2021 proves that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was seriously considering asking Trump to resign rather than face a second impeachment. But McCarthy is trying to blame all this on the liberal media, of course, even though it's all there on tape.
The New York Times publicized an audio recording Thursday of a phone call between McCarthy, Liz Cheney, and other Republican House members in the days after January 6th. In it, McCarthy reveals that he spoke personally to Donald Trump about the former president's responsibility for the violence that took place at the Capitol.
"Let me be very clear to all of you, and I have been very clear to the president: he bears responsibilities for his words and actions," McCarthy said on the January 11 call. "No if, ands or buts."
The minority leader went on to say, "I asked him personally today, does he hold responsibility for what happened? Does he feel bad about what happened? He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened and he’d need to acknowledge that."
McCarthy also suggested that an impeachment resolution was sure to pass the House and that a conviction was likely in the Senate this time. So he was planning to speak to the president again and urge him to resign — though he acknowledged Trump would likely refuse to do so. McCarthy added, "I’ve had it with this guy."
This was all happening ten days before Biden's inauguration, but as we all know, Republican leaders in the House and Senate quickly changed their tunes, based on their own polling or just the sinking-in of what damage the resignation or conviction of a sitting president would do to the party as a whole. Trump remained, and has remained, infuriatingly popular with a large segment of voters who are willing to believe whatever bullshit he spins.
The revelations of the private conversations about Republican leaders' actual anger toward Trump confirms what most of us have known all along — that everything McCarthy and McConnell say publicly is just for political expediency, and they can't be trusted.
The audio recording is all the more disgusting after the political hit that Liz Cheney proceeded to take, spearheaded by McCarthy, for taking a stand against Trump and voting for his impeachment. By May, Cheney was removed from her leadership role in the House, despite simply remaining firm publicly in the same camp that McCarthy was in until he realized he didn't have enough of his caucus behind him.
The recording is being made public ahead of the release of a book by New York Times reporters Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin, titled This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future.
MSNBC aired the recording Thursday night, and McCarthy has responded with a statement saying, "The New York Times’ reporting on me is totally false and wrong. It comes as no surprise that the corporate media is obsessed with doing everything it can to further a liberal agenda. This promotional book tour is no different. If the reporters were interested in truth why would they ask for comment after the book was printed?"
Right, but there's audio.
Mark Bednar, a spokesperson for McCarthy, issued a statement saying, "McCarthy never said he’d call Trump to say he should resign."
Right, but there's audio.
In the recording, McCarthy also says, "I do not want to get into any conversation about Pence pardoning. Again, the only discussion I would have with him is that I think this [impeachment] will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign."
The book also reports on comments made by Senator Mitch McConnell shortly after January 6th, including the statement, "If this isn’t impeachable, I don’t know what is." And he allegedly said that impeachment would mean the Democrats would "take care of the son of a bitch for us," meaning Trump.
Much like McConnell, McCarthy is just a political animal who believes he won't be Speaker of the House unless he's always voting with the majority, his colleagues reportedly say.
McCarthy has called the work of the Democrat-led January 6th special committee an "abuse of power," and he's so far refused to cooperate. Still, as the Associated Press reports, the committee has been seeking information on calls McCarthy had with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in the days before the insurrection. Also, "The committee has been especially focused on McCarthy’s communications with Trump and White House staff in the week after the violence, including a conversation with Trump that was reportedly heated," the AP writes.
"Without his cooperation, it remains unclear whether the panel will be able to gain testimony from McCarthy or any other congressional allies of Trump," says the AP.
So far, the committee has refrained from subpoena-ing fellow lawmakers.
Top image: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks during the ceremony for Rep. Don Young (R-AK) as Young lies in state in National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol on March 29, 2022 in Washington, DC. Young, who died March 18 as the longest-serving member of the House and the only congressman Alaska has had for nearly a half-century, will lie in state Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Bill Clark-Pool/Getty Images)