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Kevin McCarthy insisted on Monday that he never told Donald Trump to resign after bombshell leaked audio revealed he told Republicans he would tell the then-president he should step down following the January 6 Capitol attack.

Leading a Republican delegation to the southern border, the GOP House leader tried to keep the topic to President Joe Biden‘s refusal to visit the border and his failures in immigration policy during an interview with Fox News.

‘You know what’s out there,’ Fox News reporter Bill Melugin said in an interview with McCarthy at the border on Monday. ‘The New York Times has released audio of you where, days after January 6, you are on a call with house Republican leadership and heard on the audio saying you ‘have had enough with President Trump’, and would tell him to his face, it would be your belief he should resign. Do you still stand by those comments?’

McCarthy insisted: ‘I never told the president to resign. It was a conversation we had about scenarios going forward.’

‘But that’s not really what’s critical – happened 15 months ago,’ he deflected. ‘What’s happening is what’s happening on this border right now. Our border is not secure – 160 different countries of people are coming across. We now have enough fentanyl in America to kill every American seven times over.’

‘This is real life things happening today and this is what we need to be focused on.’

The California Republican said that he isn’t worried about enemies within the GOP, and claimed the existence of the audio doesn’t hurt his chances of winning the speakership should his party take back a majority in the 2022 midterms.

‘Does the fact that the audio was leaked in the first place mean there are some Republicans out there who have some knives out for you?’ Melugin asked McCarthy.

‘I think it’s probably more of the Democrat side,’ McCarthy responded.

‘I mean, Elizabeth Warren, Adam Schiff, and [Eric] Swalwell,’ he listed. ‘I mean, those people won’t be on Intel any more. That’s ok. Judge me by my enemies. I think I’ll be on good judgment.’

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News on Monday (pictured) that he never called Trump and told him to resign following the January 6 Capitol riot despite leaked audio revealing he told Republicans he would do so

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News on Monday (pictured) that he never called Trump and told him to resign following the January 6 Capitol riot despite leaked audio revealing he told Republicans he would do so

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News on Monday (pictured) that he never called Trump and told him to resign following the January 6 Capitol riot despite leaked audio revealing he told Republicans he would do so

McCarthy visited the southern border on Monday along with a small GOP delegation to demand President Joe Biden visit and tell him not to lift Title 42. Pictured: McCarthy takes a boat tour in the Rio Grande sector of the border

McCarthy visited the southern border on Monday along with a small GOP delegation to demand President Joe Biden visit and tell him not to lift Title 42. Pictured: McCarthy takes a boat tour in the Rio Grande sector of the border

McCarthy visited the southern border on Monday along with a small GOP delegation to demand President Joe Biden visit and tell him not to lift Title 42. Pictured: McCarthy takes a boat tour in the Rio Grande sector of the border

When pressed on if he lied by saying the Times report was ‘false and wrong’ to say he called for Trump to resign, McCarthy pushed back.

‘No, because what was brought to me is that I called the president to say that – to resign. I never called the president to say to resign,’ he clarified, but did not deny that he told members of his party he would call for Trump’s resignation.

‘He and I have a very good relationship,’ he added.

McCarthy then deflected back to his argument for why America should vote Republican this year: ‘What really needs to happen here, as we are watching what’s happening in the country – a border that’s not secure, inflation continuing to rise every day, streets that are not safe, parents that are being attacked by the attorney general saying that somehow they’re terrorists because they want to go to school board meetings – that changes when Republicans take the majority.’

Joining McCarthy with a tour of Eagle Pass, Texas in the Del Rio Sector and meetings with officials and community members there is FOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, Texas Representatives Tony Gonazalez, Randy Weber and Chip Roy as well as Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Michael Guest of Mississippi, Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee and Blake Moore of Utah.

‘I’ve got to praise Governor Abbott – He’s doing things the federal government should be doing,’ McCarthy told Fox.

GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik posted images to Twitter from the border trip on Monday showing migrants in glass enclosures under mylar blankets in Border patrol Facilities

GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik posted images to Twitter from the border trip on Monday showing migrants in glass enclosures under mylar blankets in Border patrol Facilities

GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik posted images to Twitter from the border trip on Monday showing migrants in glass enclosures under mylar blankets in Border patrol Facilities

‘We could stop this,’ he continued. ‘This is all being created by what Biden’s actions have been. And he should not lift title 42, that’s what we are down here to talk about, that’s what we’re watching.’

‘I think the president should be here and actually see what’s going on before he makes any decisions like that. The speaker should be down here, the vice president should be down here. Those Democrats who claim that they’re opposed to lifting Title 42 – they could sign a discharge petition, only a handful has to do it, and that bill can go up on the floor.’

Melugin ended the interview by asking: ‘Ten seconds response, just want to solidify – you never called President Trump and had a conversation saying ‘I believe you should resign’?’

‘Never, and you ask president Trump, he just said in the Wall Street journal, too. No, it never happened,’ he said.

Both Republicans and Democrats have come out bashing McCarthy after the bombshell audio revealed he did claim Trump bore responsibility for the January 6, 2021 attack.

Former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile said Sunday that McCarthy’s response to reports he called for Trump to resign proves he is ‘afraid’ of the ex-president.

‘I think he’s terrified of Trump,’ Brazile said on ABC’s This Week panel when speaking about the House Republican leader.

‘I think he’s terrified of telling the truth in terms of what he did in those five to seven days following the mob attack that everyone knows that former President Trump inspired when he assembled that group at the ellipse.’

‘Kevin McCarthy is afraid of Trump,’ she added.

‘He needs Trump in order to become Speaker of the House. And he’s afraid of turning off his base.’

Republicans are anticipating a take back of the majority in the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm elections, meaning McCarthy would be on a sure track for speaker as the current GOP leader.

Many candidates, however, are relying on riding Trump’s coattails to Washington, D.C.

Leaked audio revealed this week that McCarthy wanted Trump to resign after the Capitol attack last year.

The leader’s office did not reply to a DailyMail.com request for comment on the revelations in the tape. Prior to its release, however, his spokesperson said that McCarthy had never tried to push Trump out after the riot.

‘Let me be very clear to all of you, and I’ve been very clear to the president – he bears responsibility for his word and actions, no ifs, ands or buts,’ McCarthy said on the bombshell audio recording.

Former DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile (pictured) said Sunday McCarthy's response to reports he called for Trump to resign proves he is 'terrified' of the ex-president

Former DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile (pictured) said Sunday McCarthy's response to reports he called for Trump to resign proves he is 'terrified' of the ex-president

Former DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile (pictured) said Sunday McCarthy’s response to reports he called for Trump to resign proves he is ‘terrified’ of the ex-president

Bombshell leaked audio reveals that McCarthy told Republicans during a private meeting  days after the January 6 attack that he feels Trump 'bears responsibility' for the riot. Pictured: McCarthy speaks at a California Republican Party convention in Anaheim, California onSaturday, April 23, 2022

Bombshell leaked audio reveals that McCarthy told Republicans during a private meeting  days after the January 6 attack that he feels Trump 'bears responsibility' for the riot. Pictured: McCarthy speaks at a California Republican Party convention in Anaheim, California onSaturday, April 23, 2022

Bombshell leaked audio reveals that McCarthy told Republicans during a private meeting  days after the January 6 attack that he feels Trump ‘bears responsibility’ for the riot. Pictured: McCarthy speaks at a California Republican Party convention in Anaheim, California onSaturday, April 23, 2022

The audio from a private meeting with Republicans revealed that he also claimed that Trump admitted to him in a phone call following the January 6 attack that he did ‘have some responsibility for what happened.’

At the time, McCarthy said that they needed to acknowledge that fact.

Many Republicans are hesitant to speak on the leader’s comments, especially as reports claim the former president is not mad. Others have been more open about their distaste for his remarks.

But McCarthy has come under fire from both sides of the aisle since a recently-revealed private phone call showed the true depth of his fury at the ex-president – which was followed up by him flying to Florida for an audience with Trump in a show of support just days later.

Progressive Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren branded McCarthy a ‘traitor’.

‘Kevin McCarthy is a liar and a traitor. This is outrageous,’ Warren said during an interview with CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.

‘And that is really the illness that pervades the Republican leadership right now. Because they say one thing to the American public, and they say something else in private.’

She accused McCarthy of focusing more on Trump’s baseless claims the 2020 election was rigged rather than moving the country ‘forward.’

‘They understand it is wrong what happened — an attempt to overthrow our government,’ Warren said.

‘And that the Republicans instead want to continue to figure out how to make 2020 election different instead of spending their energy on how it is we go forward…in order to make this country work better.’

She added, ‘Shame on Kevin McCarthy.’

It comes after the California Republican told other GOP leaders that he would ask Trump to resign and accused the ex-president of ‘inciting people’ to go to the Capitol that day.

Progressive Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren said McCarthy should feel 'shame' over the explosive leaked audio

Progressive Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren said McCarthy should feel 'shame' over the explosive leaked audio

Progressive Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren said McCarthy should feel ‘shame’ over the explosive leaked audio

Other Democrats were quick to pile on McCarthy as well, with Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell of California calling him a ‘liar’ on Twitter late last week.  

Schiff said on April 22, ‘Authoritarians don’t come to power alone. They come to power on the backs of men like Kevin McCarthy.’

GOP Senator Roy Blunt also weighed in on Sunday, telling NBC News he was ‘surprised’ McCarthy even mentioned resignation to Trump.

‘He’s been close to Trump. Frankly, when I first heard this, I thought, anybody who’d been as close to President Trump as Kevin McCarthy was would know that the last thing Donald Trump was gonna do is either resign or quit,’ Blunt said. 

‘There was no way that was gonna happen. I was frankly so surprised that Kevin would even suggest that it might be a realistic suggestion to make to President Trump.’

GOP Senator Roy Blunt was 'surprised' that McCarthy would even suggest asking Trump to resign, claiming it was the 'last thing' the ex-president would do

GOP Senator Roy Blunt was 'surprised' that McCarthy would even suggest asking Trump to resign, claiming it was the 'last thing' the ex-president would do

GOP Senator Roy Blunt was ‘surprised’ that McCarthy would even suggest asking Trump to resign, claiming it was the ‘last thing’ the ex-president would do

Most Republicans, meanwhile, have for held back their reactions until they hear from Trump — who reportedly is not mad at the GOP leader.  

McCarthy phoned the former president following the release of stunning tapes that captured internal GOP leadership discussions after the Capitol riot, according to the Washington Post

It might be expected that Trump would be fuming at the fellow Republican, whom he once called ‘My Kevin,’ after hearing McCarthy’s tough talk with fellow House members.  

That includes McCarthy telling fellow lawmakers ‘What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it,’ in a January 10, 2021 call. 

But a source confirmed to DailyMail.com that Trump isn’t sore at McCarthy. 

In fact, Trump was ‘glad the Republican leader didn’t follow through, which Trump saw as a sign of his continued grip on the Republican Party,’ according to the Post, which cited three anonymous sources. 

Former President Donald Trump is reportedly not upset at the contents of the leaked tapes

Former President Donald Trump is reportedly not upset at the contents of the leaked tapes

Former President Donald Trump is reportedly not upset at the contents of the leaked tapes

McCarthy has longtime hopes of being elected speaker – a task that would become herculean with outright opposition from Trump, whose grip on the party is so strong that his own name has even been floated for the post (the speaker does not have to be a sitting House member under House rules). 

The two men spoke before CNN aired still more recorded audio of McCarthy, including the House leader saying Trump bore ‘some responsibility’ for Jan. 6. 

‘I know this is not fun. I know this is not great. I know this is very tough, but what I want to do, especially through here is, I don’t want to rush things. Want everybody to have all the information needed. I’ve had it with this guy. What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it,’ McCarthy said on a phone call with a small group of House Republicans on January 10th, 2021. 

McCarthy was also recorded on a January 11, 2021 call with the larger GOP Conference, where he again gave Trump public blame. 

‘Let me be very clear to all of you, and I am very clear to the president. He bears responsibilities for his words and actions, no IFS, ands, or buts. I asked him personally today, does he hold responsibility for what happened? Does he feel bad about what happened? He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. And he needed to acknowledge that,’ he said. 

Rep. Liz Cheney

Rep. Liz Cheney

Rep. Liz Cheney denies she leaked audio of a call to New York Times reporters in which House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says he’ll pressure former President Donald Trump to resign in the aftermath of the January 6 Capitol attack 

The recordings were revealed by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, who are promoting their new book, This Will Not Pass.

Trump has not publicly responded to the leaks.

And in the many months after Jan. 6th, he has not made any kind of public statement of responsibility for what transpired.

Instead, Trump has railed against an election he calls ‘rigged,’ attacked the House select committee probing Jan. 6th as the ‘unselect’ panel, and sought to engineer primaries against the small group of Republicans who voted to impeach him. 

The McCarthy tapes have not gone over well with former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon, who cast it as disloyal on his podcast.

‘Right there you’re hearing all the money, all the leadership in the Republican Party, how they plot, in probably Trump’s weakest moment, when the whole world turned against him,’ Bannon said. 

 

Source: dailymail

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