Come on, man. Who’s buying the idea that Kevin McCarthy told Trump to stop anything? Axios reported late last night that McCarthy and Trump spoke on Monday morning for a half hour, during which time McCarthy shot down not one but two of Trump’s conspiracy theories for what happened over the last two months.
Jonathan Swan says he has two sources for this story. Wanna bet one of them has a name that rhymes with ShickSharthy, and/or a boss whose does?
In a tense, 30-minute-plus phone call this morning with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Trump trotted out the Antifa line.
McCarthy would have none of it, telling the president: “It’s not Antifa, it’s MAGA. I know. I was there,” according to a White House official and another source familiar with the call.
The White House official said the call was tense and aggressive at times, with Trump ranting about election fraud and an exasperated McCarthy cutting in to say, “Stop it. It’s over. The election is over.”
Yeah, maybe. Let’s not forget that McCarthy knew for weeks that “the election is over,” and not only still led his caucus in efforts to challenge electors without any authority on January 6th anyway, he continued the challenges after the riot. Two-thirds of the Republican caucus, including McCarthy and Steve Scalise, voted to overturn Trump losses in Arizona and Pennsylvania even after getting chased out of the Capitol by the president’s MAGA mobs. Think about that while mulling over the credibility of this report.
And then consider this report from Axios’ Alayna Treene, which appeared almost simultaneously:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is under siege, raising challenges to his best-laid plans for becoming House speaker.
Why it matters: The California Republican had been ready to vault out of the minority at the 2022 midterms. But now he finds his fundraising challenged, his links to President Trump toxic and a tricky impeachment environment to navigate.
It’s not just the blowback from members forced to run away from Jake Angeli the All-Organic MAGA Wonder Shaman and his hordes that has McCarthy worried. One key skill for anyone who wants to lead a House caucus is fundraising. It’s the reason that Nancy Pelosi remains at the top of the House Democrat caucus despite losing more ground in a presidential-winning cycle than any previous House Speaker. And right now, it looks like McCarthy’s about to experience a corporate depression for his role in carrying Trump’s nonsense stolen-election water all the way to disaster:
Corporate America is quickly distancing itself from President Donald Trump and his Republican allies, as many of the biggest names in business — Goldman Sachs, Coca-Cola, Ford and Comcast — suspend political donations after a Trump-inspired mob ransacked the U.S. Capitol in a deadly and violent spree last Wednesday.
For now, the move is about affirming the rule of law and the clear results of an election that will elevate Democrat Joe Biden to the presidency. But it also signals that companies are growing skittish about lawmakers who backed Trump’s false claims of election fraud, possibly depriving Republicans of public backing from business groups who until recently were the heart of the GOP’s political brand.
“This is spreading like wildfire,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor at Yale University’s management school who consults with CEOs. “The U.S. business community has interests fully in alignment with the American public and not with Trump’s autocratic bigoted wing of the GOP.”
That started materializing early in the day yesterday. By the evening, suddenly this leak paints McCarthy as the bulwark of Republican institutionalism and the Man Who’s Most Likely to Tell Trump the Truth. How very, very … convenient.
Could it be true? Sure, but it’s tough to believe in coincidences. Or in McCarthy, for that matter, after what has happened over the last several weeks. Of course, it may well be that incentives are beginning to have an impact, and from here on out all of the incentives point in the direction of distancing from Trump at warp speed.