Audio leaked on Wednesday shows that Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader (R-California), initially supported an inquiry into the January 6 Capitol attack and wanted to hold former President Donald Trump accountable for his actions.
McCarthy backtracked his calls for an inquiry in the weeks after he told Republican colleagues that he was upset with Trump’s behavior. The audio contradicts many of the talking points McCarthy uses to criticize House select committee investigating the attack.
In the audio of his conversationsThese were obtained by and published by CNNMcCarthy stated that he is open to investigating the attack against the Capitol by Trump loyalists, shortly after Trump’s death. A speech of incendiary fervorOutside the White House on January 6, 2021.
The House’s top Republican recounted what happened in his office on the morning of the attack. He said that he demanded that Trump stop encouraging violence among his followers.
“When they started breaking into my office, myself and the staff got removed from the office,” McCarthy says in the audio, which was recorded five days after the Capitol attack. “In doing so, I made a phone call to the president, telling him what was going on, asking him to tell these people to stop, to make a video and go out. And I was very intense and very loud about it.”
McCarthy stated that he would like a congressional inquiry into this attack to be conducted.
“We cannot just sweep this under the rug. We need to know why it happened, who did it and people need to be held accountable for it,” he said. “And I’m committed to make sure that happens.”
McCarthy on Tape: A recording of his phone conversation with Trump pic.twitter.com/CCY9NnUopA
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 8, 2022
Audio from the past has also showcased McCarthy’s frustration with Trump in wake of the attack. The California Republican had described the former president’s actions as “atrocious and totally wrong,” acknowledging that Trump had “incit[ed] people” to breach the Capitol building with his speech earlier in the day.
McCarthy met with the former president a few weeks later. He eventually decided to change his tune. McCarthy has been since stood in the wayto create an inquiry into the attack. After the January 6 select committee was formed, he tried to undermine its work repeatedly by trying to enlist Trump aligned Republicans who were directly involved in attempts to overturn the election. But, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D.California) blocked his efforts to do so.
Last month McCarthy was subpoenaed by the FBIBy the January 6th committee, McCarthy was ordered to appear in front of investigators to discuss his communications and Trump’s breach of the Capitol. McCarthy said he will not comply with the subpoena order.