Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and President Donald Trump.
Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/POOL/Getty Images
- Newly released audio shows McCarthy privately slammed Trump over the Capitol riot.
- “I’ve had it with this guy,” McCarthy said of Trump on a phone call with House Republicans.
- “What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it,” McCarthy said.
Just days after the January 6, 2021 insurrection, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy privately slammed President Donald Trump over the Capitol riot, according to an audio recording of the call published on Friday.
New York Times reporters Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin obtained a recording of a phone call that McCarthy had with House Republicans on January 10, 2021 in which he criticized Trump.
“I’ve had it with this guy,” McCarthy said of Trump during the phone call, according to Burns and Martin. “What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it.”
The newly released audio contradicts McCarthy’s aggressively public support for Trump in the aftermath of the Capitol riot and since Trump left office. The audio also comes a day after McCarthy issued a blanket denial of other excerpts from Burns’ and Martin’s book, “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future.” The reporters reported that McCarthy said he planned to tell Trump to resign after January 6. McCarthy’s office on Thursday disputed the reporting, deeming it “totally false and wrong.” Yet on Thursday evening, Burns and Martin released audio that confirmed McCarthy’s comments.
On that January 10, 2021 GOP leadership call, McCarthy had been discussing House Democrats’ plans to impeach Trump over the Capitol riot. McCarthy told his Republican colleagues, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, that he thought Trump was likely to be impeached and that the president should perhaps resign instead.
“‘I think this will pass and it would be my recommendation you should resign,'” McCarthy said he would tell Trump.
Despite his private criticisms of Trump, McCarthy did not vote to impeach him on a charge of “incitement of insurrection” on January 13, 2021. After Trump left the White House later that month, McCarthy visited him at his Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach, Florida, and the two posed for a photo together.
McCarthy has also since rebuked Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump over the riot and has repeatedly pushed back on Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election. Cheney was ousted from her leadership post in the House GOP conference in May 2021.
Burns’ and Martin’s book comes out on May 3. McCarthy’s office did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.
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