In case you missed it, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said some negative things about his supreme commander, Donald Trump, in the immediate wake of the January 6, 2022 insurrection. To quote the New Republic e-mail blast I received yesterday, “Kevin McCarthy is caught lying about the truest thing he’s ever said.”
Here is The Washington Post:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy dodged immediate reprisals from former president Donald Trump this week after newly released audio captured the California Republican saying that Trump was to blame for the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and should resign, saying at one point, “I’ve had it with this guy.”
The audio contradicted McCarthy’s claim that he did not push for Trump to resign after the insurrection by a pro-Trump mob.
McCarthy called Trump on Thursday night, and the former president said he was not upset about the remarks from more than a year ago and was glad McCarthy didn’t follow through, according to three people familiar with the conversation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation.
But most House Republicans are still waiting for a firm statement from Trump, according to multiple GOP aides, and guidance from him on whether they should still back McCarthy as their leader and potential speaker if the GOP gains the House majority in the November election. As of Friday evening, Trump and McCarthy had not said anything publicly — and many Republican lawmakers, likewise, seemed cautious about weighing in. Trump — who is known to change his mind on these sorts of things — is scheduled to hold a political rally in Ohio on Saturday night.
While McCarthy’s speaker ambitions appear safe for now, the episode shows Trump’s immense and continued power over the party and his ability to influence McCarthy’s future. But even with Trump’s support, the newly revealed comments only further complicate McCarthy’s attempts to appease all factions of his conference, from pro-Trump members who have yet to say whether they would support him for speaker to rank-and-file members who have questioned his leadership approach.
The saga comes after two New York Times reporters, Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, on Thursday released excerpts from their book “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future” that detailed a lengthy call among top Republican leaders four days after the insurrection, during which McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) privately pledged to push Trump out of politics after the Capitol attack.
McCarthy denied the report, calling it “totally false and wrong.” The New York Times then published a 1½-minute audio clip from the Jan. 10, 2021, call. The clip also aired Thursday on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC. McConnell’s office declined to comment on the report.
In the audio clip, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is heard asking whether there was any chance Trump would resign. McCarthy said he was doubtful but noted, “I’m seriously thinking of having that conversation with him tonight.”
McCarthy added on the audio clip that he would tell Trump — as Democrats pushed forward with plans to again impeach the president — that “it would be my recommendation you should resign.” McCarthy said he did not think his effort would persuade Trump.
McCarthy also said on the audio: “Now this is one personal fear I have. I do not want to get in any conversation about Pence pardoning.”
Read the entire piece here.
None of this will hurt McCarthy. Right now he and his team are probably meeting to discuss the best way to spin this in his favor. His followers (and Trump’s followers) will rally around him for no other reason but tribal loyalty.
We need to remember that McCarthy is a politician and right now our political culture does not reward truth-telling. We are seeing the fruits of post-modernism–an age in which truth is whatever keeps one in power. The Democrats are guilty of this. The Republicans are guilty of this. Vladimir Putin is guilty of this.
McCarthy is not a man of integrity. Few politicians are. He is a Trump sycophant. He only cares about power. I don’t understand how people like him (and most politicians for that matter) sleep at night. He is a coward.
But at least he’s “proud to be a Christian.”
Why do Members of the House need permission from Trump to back McCarthy? Are they not mature enough to make up their own minds?
John Fea says
Apparently not. The control Trump has over this people is cult-like.