The New York Times published on Thursday audio of a conversation between the House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, and other members of the party, in which they discuss the repercussions that the events on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, could have had on Donald Trump.
In the audio, McCarthy is heard telling GOP Rep. Liz Cheney (WY) that he would talk to then-President Trump about an impending impeachment that would be introduced in a resolution by House Democrats and mentions the possibility of suggesting resignation.
“Are you hearing that he [Trump] might resign? Is there any reason to think that might happen?” Cheney asked McCarthy in the audio segment released by the Times. “I’ve had some discussions,” McCarthy replied.
“I’ve had a few discussions. My gut tells me no. I’m seriously thinking of having that conversation with him [Trump] tonight. I haven’t talked to him in a couple days. From what I know of him — I mean, you guys know him too — do you think he would ever back away?”
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McCarthy goes on to explain to Cheney that he had concerns that the Democratic majority would pass an impeachment against former President Trump. “The only discussion I would have with him is that I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign. Um, I mean that would be my take, but I don’t think he would take it. But I don’t know.”
Republicans fight back: support McCarthy
The NYT report, however, indicates that McCarthy reportedly told his Republican colleagues that he was “fed up” with Trump, and that “what he did,” in connection with the riots in front of the Capitol, “is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it.”
It also accuses the GOP leader of having consulted his colleagues on whether it would be acceptable for Republicans who made provocative comments about the Capitol Hill riot to be censored on Twitter and Facebook, as had already happened with President Trump.
But McCarthy and his staff insist on denying the newspaper. In a Twitter post, the GOP leader said the report is “totally false and wrong,” and that it is “no surprise” that the liberal media would rally to promote the Democratic narrative.
“The past year and a half have proven that our country was better off when President Trump was in the White House and rather than address the real issues facing Americans, the corporate media is more concerned with profiting from manufactured political intrigue from politically-motivated sources,” McCarthy’s statement read.
McCarthy spokesman Mark Bednar told the NYT that he “never said that” and that he “never said that particular [GOP] members should be removed from Twitter.”
Cheney’s team, meanwhile, denied that the Wyoming representative leaked the audio to the New York Times. In addition, a spokeswoman for Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) told Fox News that no member of his office had anything to do with the leak.
“Millions of American are suffering right now under President Biden and Speaker Pelosi’s big-government socialist agenda that has given us record high inflation, with skyrocketing gas prices and a border crisis, yet the only thing the Democrat media continues to obsess over is January 6th,” the spokeswoman said.
According to a subsequent Fox News report, former President Trump and McCarthy held a phone conversation following the release of the audios and their relationship remains “on good terms.”
Kevin McCarthy is the GOP favorite to replace Nancy Pelosi as House speaker if Republicans win the election in November. Representatives are likely to elect the Speaker of the House on January 3, the day after a new Congress is seated.