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Audio Shows McCarthy Wanted Trump to Resign after Jan. 6

'I think it will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign...'

(Headline USA) Newly released audio recordings confirmed earlier reports that House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told fellow GOP lawmakers shortly after the Jan. 6 uprising that he would urge then-President Donald Trump to resign, according to audio posted by New York Times and aired on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show.

McCarthy’s initial shock and condemnation of the Capitol breach has long been noted.

In a speech on the House floor shortly after Jan. 6, he called the attack on the Capitol “un-American.” At the time, McCarthy called the assault among the saddest days of his career and told his fellow Republicans that Trump “bears responsibility” for the violence.

Nonetheless, he joined half of the House Republicans in voting to challenge Joe Biden’s election afterward..

But the latest development—part of yet another leftist media expose from a pair of Times writers—may give some insight into Democrats’ strategy for deflecting from the failures of the Biden administration by using a slow drip of seemingly salacious details from the chaotic final days of Trump’s administration—likely furnished by GOP moles like Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

In the recording of a Jan. 10, 2021, House Republican Leadership call, McCarthy is heard discussing the Democrats’ second impeachement effort to remove Trump from office and saying he would tell Trump, “I think it will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign.”

It’s unclear whether McCarthy followed through on his thinking or was merely spit-balling ideas shared privately with his colleagues.

In the same conversation, McCarthy told his colleagues he doubted Trump would take the advice to step aside.

“That would be my recommendation,” McCarthy is heard saying in response to question from Cheney. “I don’t think he will take it, but I don’t know.”

Earlier Thursday, after the Times published its initial story describing the conversation, McCarthy released a statement calling it “totally false and wrong.”

His spokesman, Mark Bednar, had told the newspaper, “McCarthy never said he’d call Trump to say he should resign.”

Bednar did not immediately respond to questions late Thursday night after the audio’s release.

Trump remains the most popular figure in the Republican Party, and the news of McCarthy’s betrayal could threaten McCarthy’s standing with House Republicans aligned with Trump, whose support he will need for votes to become House speaker next year.

The story seems of little consequence, however, given that McCarthy quickly pivoted back the the president’s side, warning him days later of an effort by Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell to disinvite him from the Jan. 20 inauguration.

After catching wind of the scheme from McCarthy, Trump pre-empted the announcement by declaring he did not plan to attend.

Since then, the California Republican has distanced himself from any criticism of Trump and has avoided directly linking him to what happened. Within weeks, McCarthy said he did not think Trump provoked the attack, as other prominent Republicans said at the time.

Instead, McCarthy has cozied up to Trump, visiting him at the former president’s Florida residence at Mar-a-Lago as he relies on the former president’s brand for campaign support this fall.

McCarthy indicated during an interview with the Associated Press this week in California that Trump will motivate voters to turn out for the party in this fall’s midterm elections.

“He’ll motivate, get a lot of people out,” McCarthy said at a GOP event in Fresno.

The Times report Thursday was adapted from an upcoming book, “ This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future,” by Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns.

In the audio, Cheney, who eventually lost her No. 3 leadership position after voting in favor of Trump’s impeachment, can be heard asking McCarthy about a 25th Amendment resolution calling for Trump’s ouster and whether Trump might resign.

“I’ve had a few discussions. My gut tells me no. I’m seriously thinking of having that conversation with him tonight,” McCarthy is heard saying. “What I think I’m gonna do is I’m gonna call him.”

“I think it will pass and it would be my recommendation he should resign,” he later adds. “I mean, that would be my take but I don’t think he would take it. But I don’t know.”

McCarthy, 57, has been strategically charting his own delicate course as he positions himself to try to take over as speaker if Republicans retake the House.

He has begun to build out his leadership team and last summer tasked several groups of Republican lawmakers with drafting proposals on the party’s core legislative priorities in hopes of making a fast start in 2023.

There was little immediate reaction Thursday night from fellow Republicans who could determine his future.

To be sure, no other Republican leader in the House has amassed the standing to challenge McCarthy for the leadership position.

McCarthy has recruited the class of newcomers bolstering GOP ranks and raised millions to bolster Republican campaigns. He has drawn his closest rivals into the fold even as he works to shore up the votes that would be needed to become speaker.

An outside group aligned with McCarthy has led fundraising ahead of the midterm elections, and rank-and-file Republicans working to regain the House majority are unlikely to be critical of the leader ahead of November.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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