Audio recorded days after the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion reveals House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told a group of Republican lawmakers he would call then-President Donald Trump to recommend that he resign from office.
On Thursday, The New York Times reported they had obtained a leaked audio recording from a Jan. 10, 2021, conference call among GOP leaders about the House Democrats’ plan to impeach Trump for allegedly inciting the attack on the Capitol.
In the clip below, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney asks McCarthy: “When we were 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?”
“My gut tells me no,” McCarthy replied. “I’m seriously thinking of having that conversation with him tonight. … Um, from what I know of him, I mean you guys all 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, 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’s gone. Um, and I think there’s a lot of different ramifications for that.”
“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 would be my recommendation you [should] resign.”
NEWS: @maddow has audio of Kevin McCarthy saying privately after Jan. 6 that he expects impeachment to pass and was considering asking Donald Trump to resign.
Here’s the tape 👇 pic.twitter.com/hXmz2X9RqA
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) April 22, 2022
The Times reported that McCarthy also said, “What he [Trump] did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that and nobody should defend it.”
Additionally, McCarthy allegedly called for Twitter and Facebook to suspend the accounts of GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and others who promoted the narrative of a stolen election. “We can’t put up with that,” he said. “Can’t they take their Twitter accounts away, too?”
These remarks were not included in the brief clip released on Thursday, but according to the Times, the call had lasted for an hour.
It’s unclear how long the authors of the Times article, Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin, have held onto this recording. The duo will be releasing a book entitled “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future” in two weeks, which reportedly documents the events that occurred behind closed doors in the days following the Capitol incursion.
Speaking during a Jan. 13, 2021, House debate on whether then-President Trump (who had one week left in his term) should be impeached, McCarthy called for Trump to be censured. He told colleagues: “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action by President Trump.”
McCarthy also said that Trump needs to “accept his share of responsibility, quell the brewing unrest and ensure President-Elect Joe Biden is able to successfully begin his term.”
By the end of January, realizing there was little support among his fellow Republicans for Trump’s impeachment or even his censure, he visited the former president at Mar-a-Lago to try to patch things up.
Asked to comment on McCarthy’s remarks, his spokesman, Mark Bednar, replied: “McCarthy never said he’d call Trump to say he should resign.”
McCarthy put out a statement calling the Times’ report “totally false and wrong.”
My statement on the New York Times pic.twitter.com/PWi2WkoWzh
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) April 21, 2022
Except, apparently, a recording exists that says otherwise.
According to CNN, Burns stands by his reporting. “We are 1,000 percent confident in our sourcing on that comment.”
McCarthy planned to ask Trump to resign.
McConnell cheered Dems for impeaching “son of a b****” Trump.
Both men talked 25th Amendment.
— Brianna Keilar (@brikeilarcnn) April 21, 2022
It’s likely that Republicans will take back the House majority in November and McCarthy is widely expected to become the next speaker.
Do we really want this lightweight to be in charge?
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