McCarthy scrambles to do damage control after Jan. 6 tape leaks

Like many other Trump-aligned politicians, House Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), shortly after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, momentarily turned on the former president, joining Democrats and the media in condemning him for what took place that day.

According to the Washington Examiner, McCarthy had some explaining to do after a leadership call from January 2021 recently leaked in which McCarthy said he would urge then-President Trump to resign following the riots at the Capitol. 

McCarthy, who originally denied the reports, must have decided to take them seriously, as he reportedly spoke with Trump about the leaked tapes.

The GOP House leader’s support from Trump supporters has been a delicate back-and-forth since Trump left office, but McCarthy knows without their support, he’s toast, hence the immediate call to Trump to find out if the former president was mad at him.

The tape

Not much is known about the leaked tape aside from a few other Republicans who have heard it and are willing to comment on it.

“I listened to the tape last night. Kevin’s obviously got some information that there’s some Republican senators thinking about voting to convict on impeachment and he’s concerned about Trump and what would be in his best interest to do so, and I didn’t see it as incendiary,” one House GOP leader reportedly said, according to the Examiner.

The unnamed person added: “And I called Kevin this morning just to check in with him, and he said Trump had called him and, you know, Trump’s not upset. If he’s not upset, it’s not an issue.”

They went on to explain how such a call could ultimately help McCarthy, as it would go a long way in reassuring Trump’s base of tens of millions of supporters that he’s still on the team, essentially.

“And I called Kevin this morning just to check in with him, and he said Trump had called him and, you know, Trump’s not upset. If he’s not upset, it’s not an issue,” the unnamed source explained.

Republican backlash

Even as McCarthy has attempted to smooth over the situation, a number of pundits, politicians, and Republican operatives aren’t buying it.

“There is no difference between Kevin McCarthy and Liz Cheney. They hate President Trump!” Fox News contributor Leo Terrell tweeted.

A number of other high-profile Republicans echoed Terrell’s sentiment, leaving McCarthy’s future as a House GOP leader in serious question.

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