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McCarthy defends 1/6 audio, House GOP backs 'next speaker'

Kevin McCarthy
Posted at 1:04 PM, Apr 27, 2022

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy told colleagues he never asked then-President Donald Trump to resign over the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol. In a meeting Wednesday,

McCarthy defended his private conversations around the siege that have jeopardized his leadership. That’s according to two Republicans in the room for the private meeting who were granted anonymity to discuss it.

They said McCarthy, who is in line to become House speaker if Republicans win control in the fall midterm election, received a standing ovation. But McCarthy was challenged by two of the party’s hard-right lawmakers — Matt Gaetz of Florida and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia — who said they felt particularly singled out by McCarthy's reported criticism.

McCarthy told other GOP lawmakers shortly after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection he'd urge then-President Donald Trump to resign.

That's according to an audio recording posted by The New York Times and aired on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show.

The Times reports the audio is a recording of a Jan. 10, 2021, conversation among House GOP leaders in which they discussed the Democratic effort to remove Trump from office.

McCarthy tells the other lawmakers he'd tell Trump, “I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign.”

It's unclear who leaked the audio to the press. A spokesperson for Republican Rep. Liz Cheney told CNN it wasn't her.

Prior to the audio being made public, McCarthy said reports of him calling for the former president to resign were “false and wrong.”