McCarthy’s Future in Question as Colleagues Blast GOP Leader Over Audio on Trump Resignation
© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks to reporters as the House voted to hold former President Donald Trump advisers Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino in contempt of Congress over their monthslong refusal to comply with subpoenas from the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, April 6, 2022.
© AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite
In multiple soundbites, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy can be overheard ditching his usual Trump loyalist stance just days after the deadly January 6, 2021, storming of the US Capitol building. The GOP leader claimed he “had it with this guy,” arguing that Trump should resign, as his actions were “unacceptable” and indefensible.
Questions have been raised about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) following the Thursday and Friday release of audio recordings in which he is overheard bashing then-US President Donald Trump, and suggesting the US leader should resign if he is impeached for his involvement in the January 6 riot.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), one of two Republicans on the House Select Committee probing the Jan. 6 riot, argued in a Friday statement that the audio between McCarthy and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY)–the other Republican on the Select Committee–proved that the GOP leader was a liar and was playing voters for fools.
“Wow. McCarthy literally today said this was a lie and just a few hours later the tape with his voice from his mouth proves THAT was a lie,” Kinzinger tweeted, referring to McCarthy’s Thursday denial of a report suggesting he “had it” with Trump after the US Capitol riot, and wanted him to resign.
The GOP leader argued that the account was “totally false and wrong”
McCarthy claimed “corporate media” was working to advance “a liberal agenda” with the report, first published as an excerpt of two New York Times journalists’ upcoming book "This Will Not Pass."
“Republicans, your leaders think you are dumb,” Kinzinger added. “Let’s be done with them.”
McCarthy was also taken to task by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a fellow Trump loyalist who is currently under investigation regarding whether he engaged in sex trafficking, obstructed justice, paid for sexual favors, and had relations with a 17-year-old girl.
“While I was rallying in Wyoming against Liz Cheney…Kevin McCarthy was defending Liz Cheney among House Republicans,” Gaetz tweeted. “While Liz Cheney was secretly recording Kevin McCarthy for the New York Times. [McCarthy] - you should have trusted my instincts, not your own.”
A spokesperson for Cheney has claimed that it was not the congresswoman who recorded McCarthy.
“The select committee has asked Kevin McCarthy to speak with us about these events, but he has so far declined,” the spokesperson said. “Representative Cheney did not record or leak the tape and does not know how the reporters got it.”
Although the GOP Leader is receiving blowback from both factions of the Republican party, aides appear to think the 24-hour news cycle will quickly make McCarthy’s audio story a scandal of the past.
“Peoples’ memories are short. McCarthy will be back on Hannity tonight or next week. The midterms will drown it,” one GOP aide told The Hill, while another said they “doubt it will cut any ice.”