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Sunday, May 29, 2022

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

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy told aides on Wednesday that he never asked then-President Donald Trump to resign over the January 6, 2021 uprising at the Capitol. When he defended the private conversation around the siege that spread out into the open and put his leadership in jeopardy.

It was the first time McCarthy, who is in line to become House Speaker If Republicans win control in the fall midterm election, address his allies face-to-face as he works to deflect criticism from far-right members of Trump and his party. He got a standing ovation.

A Republican in the room said the meeting was “cathartic” for lawmakers. Another voiced belief that McCarthy would be “the next speaker”.

“He got convention support and then some,” said Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., as he left the private session at GOP headquarters across the street from the Capitol.

Yet amid a show of support, McCarthy was challenged by two of the party’s hardest-right lawmakers – Florida’s Matt Gaetz and Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene – who said they were harassed by the leadership team, especially around January. Was alone for the comments. 6. Representative Scott Perry, R-Pa., an ally of Trump, who helped organize the challenges to the 2020 election results, also expressed concern, another Republican said.

But critics appeared in a dwindling minority as rank-and-file lawmakers rallied around McCarthy, the man who recruited many of them into Congress and is now raising untold millions to help them win back a House majority. Is.

“You guys are more obsessed with January 6th, than no one cares,” Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., House told a group of reporters outside GOP headquarters. “It’s history.”

A California Republican eyeing the longtime speaker’s gavel, McCarthy is at a turning point as he works to climb to the top leadership position. It will be his second attempt after his 2015 unsuccessful bid – but is now entirely dependent on his volatile relationship with Trump, who still wields great influence over the party and can make and break careers.

New audio recordings released by The New York Times in recent days depict McCarthy fed up with Trump after the Capitol attack, when the defeated president rallied his supporters to Congress, and Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory. objected.

In the recording, McCarthy is heard telling Republicans privately that he was considering asking Trump to resign. In another recording released late Tuesday, McCarthy warned that Gaetz and others’ dangerous public remarks were “putting people at risk” of potential violence.

McCarthy has denied the New York Times account of the events, leading Democrats and others to call him a liar., because the audio of the secretly recorded calls was released. The House committee investigating January 6 is seeking an interview with him.

On Wednesday, McCarthy stood at party headquarters and defended his actions, suggesting he was only running through possible scenarios as Democrats moved to impeach Trump after a violent siege.

Republicans said that at the GOP meeting, McCarthy explicitly stated that he never asked the president to resign. He has also publicly stated that he did not do so. The Times did not report that he asked Trump to resign, only that he told Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo and other members.

As president, Trump affectionately referred to McCarthy as “My Kevin”, one of his early supporters, but their relationship deteriorated over time. McCarthy momentarily turned on Trump as his supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6 to obstruct the certification of Biden’s 2020 presidential victory.

In the days following the riots, it looked like Republicans in Washington might part ways with Trump. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell delivered scathing speeches against Trump, and McCarthy’s public and private conversations at the time showed flashes of anger and depth of anger at the shocking, devastating riots unleashed by Trump supporters.

But once Biden took office, McCarthy quickly went to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida to tie things up with the losing president.

Trump and McCarthy spoke last week, and the former president told the leader He was “not mad” about the revelations.

To become speaker if Republicans win back the House, McCarthy would need to win at least 218 votes.

“President Trump said their relationship has never been stronger. That’s good enough for me,” said Roger Williams, R-Texas. “We fully support Kevin McCarthy.”

“He’s got my support. He’s got everyone’s support too,” he said.

Still, Gaetz and other opponents remain a force to be reckoned with, should McCarthy struggle like lawmakers six years ago who refused to support him becoming speaker. He suddenly dropped out of the race.

Gaetz tweeted late Tuesday that personal comments from McCarthy and Representative Steve Scalise, No. 2 Republican leader, Cheney and others “are the behavior of weak men, not leaders.” He closed the interview on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

In past rivals for speaker’s givens, Scallis of Louisiana is no longer pursuing McCarthy for the job externally, and has actually wrapped up in the January 6 results.

Scalise also faced questions in a private meeting Wednesday after the Times reported that he had joined McCarthy in raising concerns about Gaetz’s public comments at the time, the Republican said.

Scalise said the call was a private conversation, and no one was accused of anything.

In a statement, Scalise said “it is pathetic” that the media chooses to cover it. He said that along with inflation, crime and other issues, it is clear that Democrats and the media “continue to double down on their obsession on January 6” to distract the public’s attention from the “absolutely hopeless state of the country”.

Still other Republicans remained unconvinced about McCarthy. Asked if he still had the votes to become party leader, Rep. Ralph Norman, R.C., said, “Time will tell.”

From the Democratic side, Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the chairman of the caucus, who is also seen as a potential speaker candidate if Democrats retain control, has called the Republican strategy of winning back the House nothing but lies. Told.

“Every day it’s a five-point playbook: Number one, lie. Number two, lie. Number three, lie. Number four, lie. Number five, lie again,” he said.

Jeffries said it would be nice if, “inside chaos, instead of bullets fired against each other, knife fights in a phone booth that is the modern House Republican convention, that they actually decided to work with us.” Will do. Issues important to the American people.”


Associated Press writers Kevin Freking and Alan Fram and video journalist Rick Gentilo contributed to this report.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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