Hours after he denied NYT report, audio shows McCarthy said he would urge Trump to resign

A new audio clip of house minority leader Kevin McCarthy’s explosive conversation with a Republican lawmaker has revealed that he considered urging Donald Trump to resign in the days following the Capitol Hill violence, seemingly contradicting his denial issued just hours earlier.

In the audio, which was posted on New York Times and aired on MSNBC on Thursday night, Mr McCarthy can be heard talking to representative Liz Cheney about his plans.

“The only discussion I would have with him is that I think [impeachment] will pass, and it would be my recommendation you resign,” Mr McCarthy said on 10 January 2021 in a phone call.

“That would be my take, but I don’t think he would take it. But I don’t know,” he added.

The conversation was released hours after Mr McCarthy issued a lengthy statement on Thursday, outrightly denying NYT’s initial report on the call.

“The New York Times‘reporting on me is totally false and wrong,” he said.

“It comes as no surprise that the corporate media is obsessed with doing everything it can to further a liberal agenda. This promotional book tour is no different. If the reporters were interested in truth, why would they ask for comment after the book was printed?”

The report on Thursday was based on passages from an upcoming book This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future by Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns.

In the call, Ms Cheney can be heard asking Mr McCarthy about the possibility of Mr Trump resigning.

“Are you hearing that he might resign? Is there any reason to think that might happen? Ms Cheney asks.

He responded that he “had a few discussions”, and that he was planning to call Mr Trump later that night but was doubtful that the ex-president would “ever walk away.”

“This, this is what I think: We know that it’ll pass the House. I think there’s a chance it’ll pass the Senate, even when he’s gone,” Mr McCarthy said, apparently referring to an impeachment resolution.

At one point, he also said: “What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that and nobody should defend it.”

These reports come months ahead of the midterm elections in November, in which Republicans are expecting to regain majorities in the House and Senate.

The development could also complicate Mr McCarthy’s plans to become House speaker if Republicans gain control during the November midterms.

The condemnation of Mr Trump in the recording is well beyond the speech Mr McCarthy made on the House floor shortly after the insurrection. He said at that time that Mr Trump “bears responsibility” for the “attack on Congress by mob rioters” and “should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding”.

But since then, the California Republican has distanced himself from any criticism of Mr Trump and has avoided directly linking him again to the attack.

Instead, he has tried to get close to Mr Trump, visiting him at the former president’s Florida residence at Mar-a-Lago.

Additional reporting by agencies


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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