House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy is facing mixed reactions from GOP lawmakers after leaked audio revealed he talked badly about then-President Donald Trump, blaming him and some fellow Republicans for the January 6 insurrection and suggesting that the former president resign from his position
Some GOP lawmakers now want McCarthy to explain his remarks so they can have further understanding of them and decide if McCarthy is someone to be trusted in the future.
Two reporters from the New York Times, Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns, released audio of Kevin McCarthy and some other GOP leaders discussing the insurrection from 2021 and it sparked a plethora of debate among Republicans and generated a growing amount of criticism for McCarthy.
As stated on ABC News:
“He’s putting people in jeopardy,” McCarthy said of Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a Trump loyalist who criticized other Republicans for being insufficiently supportive of Trump, according to the recording of the Jan. 10 call published by The Times. “And he doesn’t need to be doing this. We saw what people would do in the Capitol, you know, and these people came prepared with rope, with everything else.”
McCarthy declined to answer multiple questions from reporters as he walked from his office to the House floor for votes Tuesday evening. But when asked by ABC News if he was worried about the comments jeopardizing his bid for speaker if Republicans retake the House in the upcoming midterm elections, he had a simple answer.
“Nope,” he said.
Some GOP lawmakers offered the following reactions on social media:
Rep. Debbie Lesko: “He’s going to explain it, and we’ll go from there. Let’s see what he says.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger: “obviously showed an utter lack of leadership… continues to defend people pushing false narratives, and that’s wrong.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz: “Rep. McCarthy and Rep. Scalise held views about President Trump and me that they shared on sniveling calls with Liz Cheney, not us. This is the behavior of weak men, not leaders. While I was protecting President Trump from impeachment, they were protecting Liz Cheney from criticism.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson chimed in, saying: “those are the tape-recorded words of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, a man who, in private, turns out, sounds like an MSNBC contributor… And yet unless conservatives get their act together right away, Kevin McCarthy or one of his highly liberal allies … is very likely to be speaker of the House in January. That will mean we will have a Republican Congress led by a puppet of the Democratic Party.”