McCarthy considered telling Trump to resign after Jan. 6, recording shows

McCarthy considered telling Trump to resign after Jan. 6, recording shows

An audio recording released Thursday confirmed that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told his fellow Republican leaders he was “seriously thinking” about recommending that former President Trump resign in the wake of the January 6 attack on the Capitol. The recording was made during a House Republican Leadership meeting last year and was released hours after McCarthy had denied the episode in an audio statement.

In the January 10 meeting, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney — who was the chairwoman of the Republican conference at the time — asks McCarthy if there’s any chance Trump would resign.

“My gut tells me no. I am seriously considering having that conversation tonight with him. McCarthy states that McCarthy hasn’t spoken to him in two days.

The audio was published by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martins and Alex Burns. They detailed the meeting in a story that was published on Thursday. It was adapted from their book “This Will not Pass.” “

In the recording, McCarthy goes on to tell his leadership team that the impeachment resolution being crafted by Democrats would pass the House, and that he believes it might pass the Senate too.

” The only conversation I would have is that I believe this will pass, and it would also be my recommendation that you resign,” McCarthy states. “That would be my opinion, but I don’t think he would accept it, but I don’t know. “

FILE: Former President Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy meet at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on Jan. 28, 2021.

Handout / Save America

He also mentions he has a “personal fear” of getting into any conversations about “Pence pardoning,” and acknowledges he had discussions about the 25th Amendment, which dictates how the president could be removed from office.

According to the Times story — but not featured in the audio released Thursday night — McCarthy told other Republican leaders, “I’ve had it with this guy.” He also said to other House Republican colleagues that Trump was “atrocious” and “totally wrong” on the day of the attack. He blamed Trump for the riots that occurred at the Capitol and, with a Democratic impeachment resolution looming, he intended to tell the former president to resign.

” What he did was unacceptable. According to the Times, “Nobody can defend that” he stated.

In a statement after the Times story was published Thursday, McCarthy called the reporting “totally false and wrong. “

” “It is not surprising that the corporate media is obsessed in doing everything it can for a liberal agenda,” McCarthy wrote. “This promotional book tour does not differ. If reporters were interested in truth, why would they request comment after the book was published? “

He went on to accuse the “corporate media” of trying to profit off of “manufactured political intrigue from politically-motivated sources. “

McCarthy’s office did not return a request for comment late Thursday evening. Some of McCarthy’s frustrations were publicly displayed. On January 13, 2021, he gave a speech on the House floor in which he said “the president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. When he saw the unfolding events, he should have immediately denounced and condemned the mob. “

But he tried to repair his relationship later that month with the former president who still held immense power over the GOP base. He visited Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and took pictures with him.

Shortly after the audio was made public, Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, said that the Minority Leader should “be ashamed.”

“Question to Kevin McCarthy, @GOPLeader…how do you feel about the lies? Kinzinger tweeted.

The Times reported that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told advisers after the Capitol attack that “If this isn’t impeachable I don’t know what is” in reference to the upcoming impeachment election. He also predicted that there would be a strong, bipartisan vote in the Senate to convict Trump. In the end, seven Senate Republicans voted for Trump’s conviction in his impeachment trial. McConnell, however, criticized Trump’s behavior and argued that it was against the Constitution to impeach a former President. A McConnell spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Jack Turman and Nikole Killion contributed to this story

Rebecca Kaplan

Rebecca Kaplan reports on Congress for CBS News.

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