Newly leaked audio recordings confirmed that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy planned to tell former President Donald Trump to step down after the 2021 Capitol riots — hours after he called the claim ” totally false”.
McCarthy had told fellow GOP members of his displeasure with Trump in the days following the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that disrupted Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the the 2020 presidential race, The New York Times reported Thursday.
But a spokesman for the Republican leader flatly denied that McCarthy had planned to call Trump to tell him to step down. Then McCarthy himself tweeted that an article on the subject was “totally untrue and untrue”.
The Times report was adapted from “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future,” the forthcoming book by Times writers Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns.
On Thursday night, The Times then released an audio clip supporting the report, which also aired on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
In a clip played on the show, McCarthy is heard discussing with Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming and other Republicans the likelihood of an impeachment effort going through Congress. McCarthy tells people on the call that he plans to speak with Trump.
“Now it’s a personal fear I have,” the minority leader says. “I don’t want to get into a conversation about pardoning Pence.”
“Again, the only discussions I would have with him is that I think it will pass, and it would be my recommendation that you resign,” he continues. “I mean that would be my point of view, but I don’t think he would take it – but I don’t know.”
He then reiterates that Trump would likely disregard that advice.
“From what I know of him, I mean you all know him too – do you think he would ever back down?” said McCarthy. “But what I think I’m going to do is I’m going to call him.”
In a separate appeal, McCarthy called Trump’s conduct on Jan. 6 “excruciating and totally wrong,” adding that the then-president “incited people,” the Times reported. The former president’s comments at the infamous “Stop the Steal” rally before the siege were “not fair in any form,” McCarthy said, according to the time.
The California Republican also said, “I’m sick of a guy,” the new book states.
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