House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had every intention of asking former President Donald Trump to resign following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, despite denying a report stating that he did.
New York Times reporters Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin claimed Thursday morning they could confirm in their upcoming book that McCarthy wanted Trump exiled from the party:
In the days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building, the two top Republicans in Congress, Representative Kevin McCarthy and Senator Mitch McConnell, told associates they believed President Trump was responsible for inciting the deadly riot and vowed to drive him from politics.
According to Burns and Martin, McCarthy and McConnell both chose to drop the issue. According to McCarthy, the story is a big fat lie.
My statement on the New York Times pic.twitter.com/PWi2WkoWzh
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) April 21, 2022
Given McCarthy’s denial, the truth seemed unknowable.
That was until Thursday evening, when MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow dropped a recorded phone call among House Republican leadership featuring an exchange between McCarthy and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) that confirms the Times‘ reporting.
Here is part of their exchange that occurred on Jan. 10, 2021, four days after the Capitol riot:
CHENEY: I guess there’s a question. When we’re talking about the 25th Amendment resolution, and you asked if, you know, what happens if it gets there after he’s gone, is there any chance, are you hearing, that he might resign, is there any reason to think that might happen?
MCCARTHY: I’ve a few discussions. My gut tells me no, I’m seriously thinking of having that conversation with him tonight. I haven’t talked to him in a couple of days. From what I know of him, I mean you guys know him too, do you think he’d ever back away? But, what I think I’m going to do, is I’m going to call him. This is what I think, we know it’ll pass the House.
I think there’s a chance it’ll pass the Senate, even when he is gone. And I think there’s a lot of different ramifications for that. Now, I haven’t had a discussion with the DEMs, that if he did resign, with that happen? Now, this is one personal fear I have. I do not want to get into any conversation about Pence pardoning. Again, the only discussion I would have with him is that, I think this will pass. And it will be my recommendation you should resign. I mean, that would be my take. But I don’t think he would take it. But I don’t know.
Maddow said she obtained the recording of the call from Burns and Martin.
Watch above via MSNBC.
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