Trump Said Kevin McCarthy Has an 'Inferiority Complex' - Rolling Stone
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Trump Said Kevin McCarthy’s Tough Talk After Capitol Attack Was the Result of an ‘Inferiority Complex’

The House minority leader is getting attacked from the outer reaches of the Republican Party, but the center is still standing behind him

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 24: House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)  and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a signing ceremony for H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, in the Oval Office of the White House on April 24, 2020 in Washington, DC.  The bill includes an additional $321 billion for the Paycheck Protection Programs forgivable loans to cover payroll and other costs for small businesses. Hospitals and other health care providers will receive $75 billion and another $25 billion is allocated for COVID-19 testing. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/POOL/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 24: House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)  and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a signing ceremony for H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, in the Oval Office of the White House on April 24, 2020 in Washington, DC.  The bill includes an additional $321 billion for the Paycheck Protection Programs forgivable loans to cover payroll and other costs for small businesses. Hospitals and other health care providers will receive $75 billion and another $25 billion is allocated for COVID-19 testing. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/POOL/Getty Images)

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and President Trump attend a signing ceremony for H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, in the Oval Office of the White House on April 24, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/POOL/Getty Images

Donald Trump doesn’t seem too bothered that Kevin McCarthy privately trashed him after the attack on the Capitol.

The former president and the House minority leader spoke last week after The New York Times reported on the latter’s post-Jan. 6 comments, with the former seeming more amused than anything, noting that McCarthy’s failure to follow through on his tough talk was a sign of the Republican Party’s support for him. Punchbowl News on Thursday pointed to a new excerpt from the Times writers’ new book in which Trump reportedly “waved aside” McCarthy’s private push to challenge the president, chalking it up to an “inferiority complex.”

The excerpt is the latest wrinkle in the fallout from the Times‘ report that McCarthy privately expressed outrage at the president following the attack on the Capitol, to the point that he told Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) that he planned to tell Trump he should resign. McCarthy tried to deny the Times’ reporting, prompting Times reporters Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin to release audio proving its accuracy. McCarthy then scurried down to the U.S.-Mexico border with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to prove his allegiance to Trump. He deflected questions about the tapes.

There were more of them, though. The Times earlier this week released audio of McCarthy saying fellow Republicans like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) were “putting people in jeopardy” after Jan. 6. The party’s more extreme reaches have been none too pleased by any of this. Gaetz bashed McCarthy on Twitter, calling him a “weak man,” and again last night to Tucker Carlson on Fox News — at length. “I don’t know that Kevin McCarthy is in line to be speaker,” Gaetz said. “I don’t know if the guy could get an account on Truth Social at this point, based on the inconsistency of the recordings and what he says to us.”

McCarthy is hearing it from the other end of the party, as well. The Republican Accountability Project, formerly Republican Voters Against Trump, responded to the tapes by putting up billboards in McCarthy’s California district. “WE’VE HEARD THE TAPES, KEVIN,” they read. “Stop lying about January 6th.”

The good news for McCarthy and his prospects to become House speaker should the party win control of Congress in November is that the party’s far-more-substantial center is standing behind him — likely because they, too, have privately railed against Trump while publicly supporting him. McCarthy received a standing ovation after addressing the tapes during a party conference meeting on Wednesday.

In This Article: Donald Trump, Kevin McCarthy

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