House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is heard on newly-released audiotapes describing Trump’s actions surrounding the January 6th riot at the Capitol as “atrocious” and suggesting that invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office would take “too long.”
The news comes courtesy of a call recorded by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns for a new book titled, “This Will Not Pass.”
“Look, what the president did is atrocious and totally wrong,” McCarthy said of Trump in what is described as a “House Republican expanded leadership call” recorded on January 8th.
The California Republican indicated he would reach out to Joe Biden and express opposition to the impeachment process noting that the President-elect at the time would be stymied in his Cabinet selections if some candidates were engaging in a trial.
He also noted impeachment would likely divide the nation.
“I do think the impeachment divides the nation further and continues to divide it even greater,” McCarthy says. “That’s why I want to reach out to Biden.”
In the same book, it was reported that McCarthy had planned to tell Trump to resign, though McCarthy denied it.
— CNN (@CNN) May 5, 2022
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McCarthy Discussed 25th Amendment
Kevin McCarthy is also heard on the audio recording discussing the 25th Amendment, but noting it would take “too long” to implement.
The 25th Amendment is a constitutional provision allowing for the removal of the President should he be deemed medically, or as some were suggesting at the time, mentally unfit.
During the phone conversation, a GOP staff member noted Democrats were undecided politically on how to deal with the fallout of the Capitol riot, adding that the amendment was a possibility.
“That takes too long too,” McCarthy lamented. “It could go back to the House, right?”
— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) May 4, 2022
McCarthy’s Private Conversations on Capitol Riot Differ From His Public Comments
The book and subsequent audio recordings from the New York Times reporters haven’t reflected very well on McCarthy, who seemed to project one persona in private conversations while eventually publicly defending former President Trump over the Capitol riot.
Weeks ago McCarthy denied reports that he had a conversation with other GOP leaders about encouraging Trump to resign over the events surrounding January 6th, prompting Martin and Burns to release audio to the contrary.
In other recordings, the Minority Leader claimed that conservative lawmakers referring to other Republicans who weren’t going to fight the election results as “anti-Trump” was escalating matters, and their comments were “serious stuff” that “has to stop.”
“Can’t they take their Twitter accounts away, too?” he asked.
Kevin McCarthy told GOP leaders he wished big tech companies would strip some Republican lawmakers of their social media accounts, as Twitter and Facebook had done with Trump.
“We can’t put up with that, can’t they take away their Twitter accounts too?” https://t.co/fEOBoah2K0
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) April 22, 2022
McCarthy’s comments prompted Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson to eviscerate the GOP leader, calling him a “puppet of the Democratic Party” and suggesting he “sounds like an MSNBC contributor.”
Carlson warned that the midterms could result in that Democrat “puppet” being House Speaker come January.
Tucker Carlson: “Unless Conservatives get their act together right away, @GOPLeader or one of his highly liberal allies like @RepStefanik is very likely to be Speaker of the House in January. That would mean we would have a GOP Congress headed by a puppet of the Democratic Party” pic.twitter.com/e26M88EYcJ
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) April 27, 2022
Excerpts from the book titled “This Will Not Pass” also reveal Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell admitting he was “exhilarated” that Trump had “totally discredited himself” with his actions surrounding the Capitol riot.
He also took joy that Trump seemingly had ‘committed political suicide.’
“I feel exhilarated by the fact that this fellow finally, totally discredited himself,” McConnell said. “He put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Couldn’t have happened at a better time.”
Hours after a mob ransacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described himself as “exhilarated” about the potential damage to then-president Donald Trump. https://t.co/61mcyKKcmT
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 26, 2022
A column by Burns and Martin in April in the New York Times also indicates the level of glee McConnell was taking in the political fallout for Trump as he celebrated the idea of impeachment.
“The Democrats are going to take care of the son of a bitch for us,” McConnell reportedly said.
It will be interesting to hear the audio of those remarks when they eventually come out.