WASHINGTON — Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) is denying that she leaked audio to the New York Times of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) saying that he was considering telling former President Donald Trump to resign.
A Cheney spokesman told The Daily Wire on Friday morning that Cheney neither recorded nor leaked the tape of McCarthy and does not know how reporters obtained it, noting that the committee investigating the Capitol Riot has unsuccessfully asked McCarthy to discuss the matter.
The New York Times first reported Thursday morning that McCarthy had contemplated calling on the president to resign, prompting McCarthy’s office to issue a flat denial of the story. But MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow aired an audio recording Thursday evening which cast doubt on the House minority leader’s claim.
The news prompted Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz to accuse Cheney of recording McCarthy “for the New York Times” on Friday morning, warning McCarthy, “You should have trusted my instincts, not your own.”
While I was rallying in Wyoming against Liz Cheney…
Kevin McCarthy was defending Liz Cheney among House Republicans…
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) April 22, 2022
“While I was rallying in Wyoming against Liz Cheney…Kevin McCarthy was defending Liz Cheney among House Republicans,” he tweeted. “While Liz Cheney was secretly recording Kevin McCarthy for the New York Times.”
Gaetz did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Wire.
“My gut tells me no,” McCarthy reportedly said during a private call with Republicans, responding to a question from Cheney about whether Trump would resign, according to audio aired on MSNBC. “I am seriously thinking about having that conversation with him tonight. I haven’t talked to him in a couple days. From what I know of him, I mean you guys all know him, too, do you think he’d ever back away?
“We know it’ll pass the House, I think there’s a chance it’ll pass the senate even when he’s gone. And I think there’s a lot of different ramifications for that. … The only discussion I would have with him is I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation that he should resign,” he continued, referring to the impeachment resolution.
“That would be my take, but I don’t think he would take it,” McCarthy said. “But I don’t know.”
Cheney was the number three House Republican leader at the time, though she is now an outspoken opponent of Trump.
McCarthy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Wire.
Before the audio was released, a McCarthy spokesperson told The New York Times that “McCarthy never said he’d call Trump to say he should resign.” McCarthy had also released his own statement calling the Times’ reporting “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,” McCarthy said. “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?”
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