Newly published audio reveals top Republicans privately blasted Donald Trump in the days after the January 6 Capitol insurrection. The New York Times obtained a recording of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaking on January 10, 2021, with Wyoming Republican Congressmember Liz Cheney. In the call, Cheney asks McCarthy whether the House might pass an impeachment resolution.
Rep. Liz Cheney: “Is there any chance? Are you hearing that he might resign? Is there any reason to think that might happen?”
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “I’ve had a few discussions. My gut tells me no. I’m seriously thinking of having that conversation with him tonight. … The only discussion I would have with him is that I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation he should resign.”
Before The New York Times released that recording, McCarthy’s office denied reports he’d privately called for Trump’s resignation. In a statement, McCarthy called the reports “totally false and wrong.”
Meanwhile, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, who was Senate majority leader at the time, privately told colleagues after the Capitol insurrection that his party would soon break with Trump. “If this isn’t impeachable, I don’t know what is,” he reportedly said. McConnell would go on to vote against convicting Trump during the Senate’s second impeachment trial.