Leaked audio contradicts Kevin McCarthy’s denial that he considered asking Trump to resign – live

Second audio clip of House Republican leader released: ‘He bears responsibility for his words and actions’

The New York Times just released another clip of Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy telling Republican leaders that he believes Donald Trump was responsible for the January 6 insurrection.

In the clip, McCarthy can be heard detailing a conversation he had with Trump where he asked the former president whether he believes he had responsibility for the attack.

“Well, let me be very clear to all of you, and I’ve been very clear to the president: He bears responsibility for his words and actions. No if’s, and’s or but’s. 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 needs to acknowledge that,” McCarthy said in the clip, which was just played live on CNN. The audio comes from a call that took place January 11, 2021.

Seems like the special house panel investigating the January 6 insurrection is planning to hold its public hearings in June. The committee had previously suggested that the hearings would be held next month.

Representative Jamie Raskin, a prominent Democrat on the committee, has been making the rounds hyping up the findings of the committee to the press. He recently told NBC News: “The hearings will tell a story that will really blow the roof off the House.” He also said that the committee plans on holding the hearings in June.

Earlier this week, Raskin told the Guardian that the committee is “going to tell the whole story of everything that happened. There was a violent insurrection and an attempted coup and we were saved by Mike Pence’s refusal to go along with that plan.”

The hearings in June will be televised and will be the first time the public will get a direct look at the investigations into the attack that are underway. About 800 people have been charged with crimes committed in relation to the Capitol attack over the last year.

The Washington Post obtained records that show Donald Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows was simultaneously registered to vote in three different states – North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina – until last week.

“The overlap lasted about three weeks, and it might have continued if revelations about Meadows’s voting record had not attracted scrutiny in North Carolina. Meadows is still registered in Virginia and South Carolina,” writes Glenn Kessler, writer for the Post’s “Fact Checker” column.

This isn’t the first revelation that Meadows is registered to vote in multiple states. The New Yorker reported in March that the former South Carolina senator and his wife, Debra, submitted voter registration forms that linked to a mobile home in North Carolina, even though the couple did not actually live there. North Carolina recently removed Meadows from its voter rolls and is investigating potential voter fraud.

The irony, of course, is that Meadows has become outspoken about the voter fraud that he believed happened in 2020. Meadows has been critical of “lowered” standards for mail-in ballots.

Some analysis about the released audio clip of Kevin McCarthy considering telling Donald Trump to resign:

The McCarthy tape is the same rolling crisis of bad faith going on since 2016. Large chunks of the party said, or say in private, Trump is unfit and dangerous. Every race features all MAGA candidates, the divide is who’s coded to donors and backers as secretly believing it too.

— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) April 22, 2022

“The McCarthy tape is the same rolling crisis of bad faith going on since 2016. Large chunks of the party said, or say in private, Trump is unfit and dangerous,” writes Benjy Sarlin of NBC on Twitter.

This brings to mind a great piece from New York Magazine by Olivia Nuzzi that was published in October 2020, right before the presidential election. Nuzzi profiles an anonymous Republican source who, like the many anonymous sources who were prolific at talking to the media during Trump’s presidency, privately bashed Trump while publicly supporting him.

While McCarthy didn’t hide behind anonymity per se, the leak of the audio clip reveals how pervasive private sentiments against Trump were, just as the breadth of anonymous sourcing that was seen during the Trump presidency demonstrated.

The subject of the piece grapples with his anonymous criticism of Trump. “It’s hard to go up against the president of your own party – even if he’s not really a Republican.”

And, he notes, “If you don’t like Trump, but you like money, and you’re willing to be vocal about how much we need to reelect him, there’s a lot of money to be made this year.”

The source said that while some Republicans may have seen supporting Trump as a way to “prevent the worst stuff from happening”, keeping a close eye on him, he admitted that “it’s definitely self-serving.”

“I mean, once you grow up, life is all about contradictions.”

McCarthy audio reveals he did consider asking Trump to resign

Good morning readers of the US politics blog, and happy Earth Day!

It’s not such a happy one for the House minority leader and Donald Trump apologist Kevin McCarthy, who appears to have been caught in a lie over whether he said he would seek the former president’s resignation in the aftermath of the 6 January Capitol riot.

The backstory is that yesterday, the top House Republican angrily denied claims in a new book by New York Times journalists Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin that he was so outraged with Trump’s incitement of the insurrection that he said he would push him to quit.

Unfortunately for McCarthy, there’s a stunning audio recording of him saying just that to Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney, whom he helped oust from party leadership when she didn’t follow the would-be House speaker’s reversal back to Trump acolyte.

We’ll have plenty more on that today.

Developments in the Ukraine conflict can be found on our 24-hour live blog here.

And here’s what else we’re watching in the US today:

  • Joe Biden travels to Washington state, where he will talk about the climate crisis and reveal steps to “safeguard the nation’s forests”.
  • Later, in Auburn, the president will deliver another address about his plans to lower healthcare and energy prices.
  • The extremist Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is set to appear in a Georgia courtroom at a hearing to determine if she should be disqualified from seeking re-election for supporting the 6 January insurrection.

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