Kevin McCarthy, the U.S. House Minority Leader, said privately and openly in the days subsequent to the deadly Capitol attacks that the then-US President Donald Trump acknowledged personally holding up some responsibility for the assault, one of several reasons why the January 6th Committee wants to hear from the House’s top GOP.
Mr. McCarthy shared the specifics of his communication with Mr. Trump in a little-noticed local radio interview done about a week after the Capitol attack, in which House Minority Leader said he supported a panel to inquire about the Capitol riot and supported condemning the former President Trump.
While Kevin McCarthy declared similar statements about supporting criticism and a two-party commission in other places around the same time, in which the House Republican has harsh words for Donald Trump and strongly condemns the violence, provides yet one more example of how the California GOP has shifted his tone in the year since the assault.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says he can’t recall a phone call with Republicans where he said Trump admitted to bearing some responsibility for 1/6.
Luckily he doesn’t have to — there’s audio.
— The Recount (@therecount) January 14, 2022
McCarthy said on a local AM radio station licensed to Wasco-Greenacres, California – KERN – on 12th January 2021 that he says he’s responsibility. He told him personally that he does have some responsibility. He also thinks a lot of people do. Moreover, according to multiple sources on the call, Mr. McCarthy shared a similar account in 2021 with House GOPs during a private conference call a day before. That conference call was reported on at the time, but CNN obtained a more comprehensive readout of the call on Thursday.
“No ifs, ands, or buts”
According to the CNN’s obtained readout from a source listening to the conference call, Kevin McCarthy told House GOPs on 11th January last year: Let him be transparent to you, and he’s been very clear to the President. Also, he bears accountability for his words and activities, “no ifs, ands, or buts.” He asked him personally today if he grips responsibility for what materialized. If he feels bad about what occurred. He told me he does have some concern for what happened, but he has to admit that.
Furthermore, ex-President Trump has never openly accepted any responsibility for the deadly riot, and McCarthy said Thursday during a news briefing he could not think of telling House GOPs in 2021 that Mr. Trump took responsibility for the insurrection. In the local radio interview, Californian GOP said he urged the President throughout a phone-call during the assault on Capitol Hill to call in the National Guard and go on TV to call off the attackers.
McCarthy said he spoke to the then-President during the attack. McCarthy said he was the first person to call Trump, and he told him to go on national television, tell these individuals to stop that. He said he did not realize what was happening. But, moreover, they went to the news then to work through that. And McCarthy asked Trump; he has a responsibility. House Minority Leader said, “you know what the President does, but you know what,” we all do. He added later that he called Trump, requested him to bring the national guard to go on TV.
The specifics of the call of Kevin McCarthy with Donald Trump, and whether the ex-President has ever acknowledged any culpability for the attacks, have been a matter of interest for the Jan. 6 Committee inquiring the attack, saying it is key to understanding Trump’s state of mind during the United States Capitol riot and in the weeks later.