BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The New York Times reported House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) was considering recommending Trump resign after Jan. 6 before he was potentially impeached.
McCarthy swiftly denied the report, calling it “totally false and wrong,” but newly released tapes of McCarthy’s remarks appears to show otherwise.
On Thursday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow aired a taped phone call between McCarthy and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) four days after the 2021 Capitol attack.
Cheney mentioned a conversation about using the 25th Amendment to force former President Trump out of office.
McCarthy said he thinks the the effort to impeach Trump for his role in the Capitol attack will pass the House and possibly the Senate.
“I think there’s a lot of difference ramifications for that. Now, I haven’t had a discussion with the Dems, that if he did resign, would that happen? Now, this is one personal fear I’ve had, I do not want to get into any discussion of Pence pardoning. Again, the only discussion I would have with him is that I think this will pass and it would be my recommendation you should resign,” McCarthy reportedly said on the phone call.
Addressing the media for the first time since the release of the tapes, McCarthy told reporters in Ridgecrest on Friday he never said Trump should resign.
“It was told that I was asking the president to resign — that never took place nor did it happen. On a phone call right after Jan. 6, I was asked by Liz Cheney about the 25th Amendment and to explain what else would happen. I was walking through different scenarios, that’s all that happened. I think the phone call was overblown,” he said.
On Friday morning CNN aired new audio of McCarthy reportedly talking about a conversation he had with Trump after the Capitol attack.
“I asked him personally today, does he hold responsibility for what happened? Does he feel bad about what happened? He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. And he needs to acknowledge that,” McCarthy said.
The House Minority leader also appeared to express frustration with the former President’s handling of the riot.
“I want everybody to have all the information needed. I’ve had it with this guy. What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that and nobody should defend that,” McCarthy said.
Later on Friday President Biden weighed in, directly referencing the tapes and saying the GOP has changed.
“This ain’t your father’s Republican party […] they’re not like what I served with for so many years,” Biden said. “And the people who know people are afraid to act correctly because they know they’ll be primaried.”
The Washington Post reported that McCarthy and Trump spoke on the phone after the tape was released Thursday night, saying Trump wasn’t upset because the House Minority Leader never followed through with recommending Trump resign.
McCarthy said in Ridgecrest today that he spoke with Trump on the phone twice on Friday.