Jan. 6 committee zeroes in on Kevin McCarthy attempts to reach Trump during attack
The Jan. 6 Select Committee at a Thursday hearing honed in on House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (Calif.) conversations with then-President Trump as the Capitol was under attack.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) introduced a montage of clips from deposition testimony and other clips detailing McCarthy’s repeated attempts to reach out to Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, pleading with them to have Trump do more to call off the mob.
Molly Michael, former executive assistant to the president, said that McCarthy had contacted former White House deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino’s desk line, and that the call was then transferred to the president. Michael testified that Trump was in the White House dining room when he took the call.
In a Fox News clip from the day of the attack, McCarthy talked on the air about speaking to Trump.
“I think we need to make a statement, make sure that we can calm individuals down,” McCarthy said.
Marc Short, chief of staff to then-Vice President Mike Pence, said that McCarthy had indicated he had a conversation with Trump or someone in the White House. Short indicated that McCarthy expressed frustration the White House was “not taking the circumstances seriously as they should at that moment.”
In an audio clip, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) described McCarthy talking about calling the White House and getting through to Trump.
“He said, ‘You have got to get on TV. You’ve got to get on Twitter. You’ve got to call these people off.’” Herrera Beutler said. “You know what the president said to him? This is as it’s happening. He said, ‘Well, Kevin, these aren’t my people. These are, these are antifa.’”
McCarthy responded that they were Trump’s people, and that his staff was running for cover, Herrera Beutler said.
“And the president’s response to Kevin, to me, was chilling. He said, ‘Well, Kevin, I guess they’re more upset about the election theft than you are,’” Herrera Beutler.
The two then got in a swearing match, she said.
In a call to CBS News on Jan. 6, McCarthy said, “I conveyed to the president what I think is best to do, and I’m hopeful the president will do it.”
Julie Radford, former chief of staff for Ivanka Trump, said in a deposition that McCarthy reached out to Ivanka Trump about the attack at the Capitol one time.
Jared Kushner said in a deposition that McCarthy also called him.
“He told me it was getting really ugly over at the Capitol and said, ‘Please, you know, anything you can do to help I would appreciate it,’” Kushner said.
“I got the sense that they were, they were scared,” Kushner said, adding that it seemed McCarthy specifically was scared.
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