Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the top Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, is under fire from his own party after a new leaked audio obtained by the New York Times. The audio recording showed McCarthy saying that then President Donald Trump should resign over the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot and he planned on telling Trump just that.
The bombshell tape emerged just hours after the House Minority Leader denied the report as “totally false and wrong,” when New York Times reporters and authors released the audio on Thursday evening. Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin detailed McCarthy’s comments in an excerpt from their book, ‘This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future, that was published in the Times.
McCarthy had said in a statement before the audio’s release, “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?”
The comments, which McCarthy had just denied hours before the recording emerged, could threaten his standing with pro-Trump lawmakers whose votes he would need to fulfill his goal as well as undermine his widely known ambition to become House Speaker next year if Republicans take control of the chamber in November’s midterm elections, as expected.
The recording was taken during a House Republican leadership meeting on January 10, 2021. In the recording, Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wy), who was the chairwoman of the Republican conference at the time, a staunch critic of Trump, is heard asking McCarthy about a move invoking the 25th Amendment to out Trump or if there is any chance Trump would resign.
“My gut tells me no,” McCarthy responded, according to the audio. “I am seriously thinking about having that conversation with him tonight.”
“The only discussion I would have with him is I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation that he should resign,” McCarthy say, referring to the impeachment resolution in the House. “That would be my take, but I don’t think he would take it. But I don’t Know.”
McCarthy has come under scrutiny with several of colleagues in the Republican Party, including Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, and are the only Republicans on the House select committee.
Most people know where Cheney stands as she voted for Trump’s 2021 impeachment. Kinzinger got in on the action later as he tweeted a photo of McCarthy with Trump at Mar-a-Lago in 2021, captioning it, “McCarthy was over Trump until he wasn’t, when he realized he need him.”
Representative of Florida Matt Gaetz, a staunch Trump ally and hardline conservative has actively opposed Cheney, who is running for re-election in Wyoming, for supporting Trump’s 2021 impeachment and joining the Democratic-led House committee investigating the January 6 riot had a few words to add.
Gaetz said on twitter, “While I was rallying in Wyoming against Liz Cheney, Kevin McCarthy was defending Liz Cheney among House Republicans…You should have trusted my instincts, not your own.”
McCarthy briefly sought to distance himself from Trump after the January 6 incident calling it “un-American” and said in a speech that Trump “bears responsibility” for inciting it.
But he soon started cozying u to Trump and visited the former president’s home at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.
McCarthy’s fate will depend largely on Trump, who remains the most powerful figure in the Republican Party more than a year after he left office.
Listen to the full audio below: