McCarthy defends Trump response to deadly Jan. 6 riot
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” defended former President Trump’s response to the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, saying Trump told him he would “put something out to make sure to stop this.”
Host Chris Wallace asked McCarthy to confirm an account from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), one of the 10 House Republicans who voted in favor of impeaching Trump following the riot, who said that when McCarthy called Trump on Jan. 6 for help, Trump responded: “Well Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
“What I talked to President Trump about, I was the first person to contact him when the riots was going on. He didn’t see it. What he ended the call was saying — telling me, he’ll put something out to make sure to stop this. And that’s what he did, he put a video out later,” McCarthy responded, without confirming Herrera Beutler’s account.
Wallace noted that Trump’s video came “quite a lot later,” calling it “a pretty weak video” and pressing McCarthy on whether Trump truly responded as Herrera Beutler said he did.
“No, listen, my conversations with the president are my conversations with the president,” McCarthy said. “I engaged in the idea of making sure we could stop what was going on inside the Capitol at that moment in time. The president said he would help.”
McCarthy also said he has not spoken with Trump about the riot and their conversation since that day, saying they “never even came close” to broaching the subject.
“Has the president ever reached out to you since that report came out to discuss what you and he talked about in the Jan. 6 phone call, and did you say to him ‘I can’t because we are under oath?’ ” Wallace asked.
“No,” McCarthy replied. “Never happened — never even close.”
“And if it did happen, you agree that would be witness tampering?” Wallace asked.
“Yeah, but it never happened,” McCarthy said. “Never even came close. Never had any conversation like that. Never even heard that rumor before today.”