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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is being trolled in his own district by the group the Republican Accountability Project, which has gone after Republicans supportive of former President Donald Trump‘s election fraud lies.
The group – led by anti-Trump commentator Bill Kristol – purchased space on Bakersfield, California billboards that now read: ‘We’ve heard the tapes, Kevin. Stop lying about January 6th.’
The New York Times has been releasing audio clips from a January 10, 2021 call where McCarthy, speaking to House leadership, floats asking Trump to resign during the aftermath of the January 6 Capitol attack.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is being trolled in his own district by the group the Republican Accountability Project with billboards in his California district reading: ‘We’ve heard the tapes, Kevin. Stop lying about January 6’
The location of six billboards that are trolling House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy over comments he made about fellow Republicans caught on tape by The New York Times. McCarthy represents Bakersfield, California
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy leaves the Republican National Committee offices Wednesday after he reportedly was given a standing ovation after he explained why he made certain comments captured on tape and released by The New York Times
McCarthy, his No. 2 House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and his then No. 3 former House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, also discussed a number of inflammatory statements made by their own GOP members.
Kristol’s group supports ‘principled Republicans,’ which in their view is only defined by members of the GOP who didn’t contest the 2020 election during the January 6 vote, which was interrupted by the Capitol attack.
More recently, Kristol has gone as far as to endorse Democrats, including Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, to expunge Trump’s influence from the party, despite GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin not necessarily espousing pro-MAGA beliefs.
Youngkin won the November race.
McCarthy remains with the majority of his party.
On Wednesday morning McCarthy reportedly smoothed things over and was given a standing ovation by fellow House Republicans after he defended his comments from the tapes.
‘He’s widely supported. Will be speaker,’ one source in the room told The Washington Post.
CNN’s Melanie Zanona reported that McCarthy told colleagues that he was just floating scenarios when he told Republican leadership during a January 10 call that former President Donald Trump should resign.
McCarthy and his allies were also caught complaining about the rhetoric used by fellow GOP lawmakers including Reps. Matt Gaetz, Mo Brooks, Lauren Boebert and Barry Moore during a private phone call in the days following the January 6 Capitol attack.
On Tuesday, The New York Times released fresh audio clips of McCarthy on the call with Scalise, then-House Republican Conference Chair Cheney, Rep. Tim Emmer and a handful of Congressional aides, where he relayed his fears that remarks by a vocal fringe minority could lead to violence.
‘Tension is too high, the country is too crazy,’ McCarthy warned on the January 10 call. ‘I do not want to look back and think we caused something or we missed something and someone got hurt. I don’t want to play politics with any of that.’
The Washington Post also reported that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was also briefly brought up on the call, said at the meeting Wednesday morning that Scalise needed to apologize for his remarks.
Both House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (left) and Rep. Liz Cheney (right), who at the time was the GOP Conference Chair, were on the call in question. Audio released Tuesday night caught them discussing some of their GOP colleagues’ controversial rhetoric
In one clip from the call, McCarthy is heard discussing comments Gaetz made on Newsmax, where he went after fellow Republicans for being ‘anti-Trump.’
One of the Republicans Gaetz was critical of was Cheney, who blasted the outgoing president after the January 6 insurrection.
‘This is serious stuff people are doing that has to stop,’ the top House Republican grumbled, mentioning briefings he was receiving from the FBI.
‘I’m calling Gaetz, I’m explaining to him, I don’t know if I have much to say, but I’m going to have some other people call him too,’ McCarthy continued. ‘This is serious s**t, to cut this out.’
Scalise pushed that ‘it’s potentially illegal what he’s doing.’
‘Well, he’s putting people in jeopardy,’ McCarthy said. ‘And he doesn’t need to be doing this. We saw what people would do in the Capitol, you know, and these people came prepared with rope, with everything else.’
Scalise also pointed to comments made by Brooks and Rep. Louie Gohmert, including how Brooks said at the ‘Save America’ rally before the Capitol Attack that ‘today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.’
‘You got the Maxine Waters and all that stuff too, I know the Dems are in a very strong positions to drive a lot of things, but our members have got to start paying attention to what they say too, we can’t put up with that type of s**t,’ McCarthy said.
In the past, Republicans have gone after Waters, a California Democrat, for some of her rhetoric.
McCarthy and GOP leaders discussed comments Rep. Mo Brooks (left) made at the ‘Save America’ rally in the hours before the January 6 Capitol attack and things Rep. Matt Gaetz (right) said about ‘anti-Trump’ Republicans, including Rep. Liz Cheney
On the call, Rep. Liz Cheney brought up Rep. Lauren Boebert (pictured), pointing out that she had tweeted members’ movements during the January 6 attack.
‘You think the president deserves to be impeached for his comments? That’s almost something that goes further than what the president said,’ McCarthy said of Brooks’ ‘kicking ass’ line.
On the call, Cheney brought up Boebert, pointing out that she had tweeted members’ movements during the January 6 attack.
McCarthy asked if Greene – often linked to Boebert over their shared, now disavowed, interest in QAnon – had been a speaker at former President Donald Trump’s ‘Save America’ rally.
McCarthy is also told about tweets made from Moore.
‘Wow, we have more arrests for stealing a podium on January 6 than we do for stealing an election on November 3, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Detroit would be places I’d reccomend you start,’ Moore wrote before deleting his personal Twitter account.
On the death of capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt he commented, ‘I understand it was a black police officer who shot the white female veteran.’
‘You know that doesn’t fit the narrative,’ the Alabama Republican tweeted.
After Moore’s tweets were read aloud on the call, both McCarthy and Cheney are heard murmuring, ‘wow.’
McCarthy was also told about tweets sent out by Rep. Barry Moore (pictured) including on the death of Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt. ‘I understand it was a black police officer who shot the white female veteran. You know that doesn’t fit the narrative,’ Moore wrote
‘Can’t they take their Twitter accounts away, too?’ McCarthy then said.
The sound bites released Tuesday were from the same call in which McCarthy told GOP leadership he’d tell Trump to resign – comments he continues to deny, despite the recording being released publicly.
The January 10 call was revealed by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, in a preview of their new book, This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future.
The comments prompted January 6 House select committee Chairman Bennie Thompson to announce Tuesday that the panel would issue ‘another invitation’ to McCarthy to testify.
Then the Democrat-led committee – which includes Republicans Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger – will decide whether to subpoena McCarthy and other Republicans, Punchbowl News said.