CNN published a report on Friday night in an apparent last-ditch attempt to influence the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
That report details an “expletive-laced” telephone call that took place between then-President Trump and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as the January 6th riot was taking place.
“Who the **** do you think you are talking to?”
CNN based its report on “Republican lawmakers familiar with the call.” One of these Republicans is Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), who claims that McCarthy described the details of the call to her shortly after it took place.
CNN, in its report, focuses on one line from the call between Trump and McCarthy. It is Trump saying, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
The New York Times, however, provides more information about the call. According to the Times, Herrera Beutler claims that McCarthy called Trump on January 6th asking him “to publicly and forcefully call off the riot.”
“Mr. Trump,” the Times reports, “replied by saying that antifa, not his supporters, was responsible. When Mr. McCarthy said that was not true, the former president was curt.”
It is at this point that Trump said, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
This then, according to CNN, set off a “shouting match” that included McCarthy saying, “Who the **** do you think you are talking to?”
It didn’t work
CNN did not even bother trying to hide the fact that it published this piece with the intention of influencing the Senate impeachment trial of Trump. The outlet writes:
As senators prepare to determine Trump’s fate, multiple Republicans thought the details of the call were important to the proceedings because they believe it paints a damning portrait of Trump’s lack of action during the attack.
CNN, however, failed in its goal as Trump was acquitted on Saturday by a vote of 57 to 43. As a result, Trump can run for office again, if he desires.
Trump responded with a statement in which he called this latest impeachment “another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country.” Trump also hinted at his future plans, but did not make clear whether those plans include another political run.
Neither Trump nor McCarthy has commented on this latest reporting about their January 6th phone call. McCarthy, though, in the past, has touched upon it, placing at least some of the blame for the Capitol riot on Trump.