The revelation comes in audio Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin obtained while writing their new book This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future. CNN broadcast the audio Friday morning.
“Let me be very clear to all of you, and I have been very clear to the president: He bears responsibility for his words and actions. No ifs, ands, or buts,” McCarthy said during a House Republican Conference call last Jan. 11. “I asked him personally today if he holds responsibility for what happened, if he feels bad for what happened, and he told me he does have some responsibility for what happened, and he needed to acknowledge that.”
CNN just broadcast new audio of McCarthy unambiguously blaming Trump for the January 6 attack during a House Republican Conference call on January 11, 2021. In the audio, McCarthy also claims Trump acknowledged to him that he bears responsibility for January 6. pic.twitter.com/qH7vPdS1Qf
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 22, 2022
McCarthy in additional audio said he was done with Trump after the attack. “I’ve had it with this guy,” he said. “What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend it, and nobody should defend it.”
McCarthy’s tough talk about the former president in the wake of Jan. 6 is borderline comical considering the degree to which he and the rest of the party has since cowered from holding Trump accountable for the attack. McCarthy even went to Mar-a-Lago to kiss Trump’s ring and pose for a picture with the newly former president just weeks after the attack. A year later, this January, McCarthy said he had no recollection of the call.
Kevin McCarthy this January when asked directly if he told members on a 1/11/21 call about Trump taking responsibility for January 6th.
"I'm not sure what call you're talking, so….," — pivots quickly to next question.
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) April 22, 2022
Burns and Martin released the audio after McCarthy vehemently denied a report from The New York Times about his criticism of Trump following the attack. McCarthy in a tweet on Thursday said the report was “totally false and wrong.” Burns responded Thursday night be releasing audio of McCarthy that corroborated their reporting, in which McCarthy told Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) that he planned to suggest to Trump that he should resign.
The Washington Post reported on Friday that McCarthy and Trump spoke Wednesday night after the audio was leaked, and that Trump was not upset. Instead, the Post notes, he was delighted by his “continued grip on the Republican Party.”