Trump and McCarthy.
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- Trump is happy Kevin McCarthy didn’t push him to resign after the Capitol riot, The Washington Post reported.
- The two men spoke on the phone after newly leaked audio featured McCarthy telling House Republicans he would urge Trump to step down.
- The Post reported that Trump saw McCarthy backing down as a sign of his control over the GOP.
Former President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke on the phone Thursday night after newly released audio tapes showed McCarthy telling House Republicans that he would push Trump to resign after the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
That’s according to The Washington Post, which reported that Trump was glad McCarthy didn’t follow through on his pledge. Trump viewed McCarthy backing down as a sign of his total control over the Republican Party, per The Post.
New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns first shared the recording of McCarthy’s remarks on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Thursday evening.
The audio featured part of a GOP leadership call on January 10, 2021, four days after the Capitol riot. In it, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, a staunch Trump critic, was heard asking McCarthy if he thought Trump would resign.
“My gut tells me no,” McCarthy said. “I’m seriously thinking of having that conversation with him tonight. From what I know of him, I mean, you guys know him too, do you think he’d ever back away?”
The House minority leader added that he would tell Trump to step down, as House Democrats moved forward with plans to impeach Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection.
“It would be my recommendation you should resign,” McCarthy said he would tell Trump, though he didn’t think Trump would listen.
“Now this is one personal fear I have,” the California lawmaker added, according to the tape. “I do not want to get in any conversation about [Vice President Mike] Pence pardoning.”
Martin and Burns also released other tapes during a CNN appearance on Friday morning. In one tape, McCarthy was heard saying that Trump admitted to him that he bore “some responsibility” for the deadly Capitol insurrection. The audio confirmed previous reporting about McCarthy’s remarks.
McCarthy also expressed anger with the president, saying his behavior was “unacceptable” and that “nobody should defend it.”
“I’ve had it with this guy,” McCarthy said, according to Martin and Burns’ reporting.
A few weeks later, though, the California Republican went to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida, where the two men discussed the GOP’s efforts to regain control of the House of Representatives. They also posed for a photo together.
Trump’s Save America PAC released a photo showing the former president meeting House minority leader Kevin McCarthy on January 28, 2021.
Save America PAC
McCarthy later told another lawmaker that he had no idea he and Trump were going to be photographed together at Mar-a-Lago.
“I didn’t know they were going to take a picture,” McCarthy told an unnamed colleague, according to excerpts from Martin and Burns’ forthcoming book that were published by The Times.
Read the original article on Business Insider