As Rioters Stormed Capitol, Trump Reportedly Mocked McCarthy In ‘Shouting Match’ Call
When House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy called then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 6 to implore him to call off his supporters who were besieging the Capitol, Trump reportedly responded with mockery — prompting a “shouting match” to ensue between the two men.
“Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump told McCarthy, according to a CNN report published Friday.
The California congressman reportedly responded with anger, telling Trump that as they spoke, rioters were breaking through the windows of his office. “Who the fuck do you think you are talking to?” McCarthy demanded of Trump, according to CNN.
McCarthy has previously discussed some details of that phone call. He told The Bakersfield Californian last month that the two men shared a “very heated conversation” as the riot was happening and that he’d urged Trump to “get help” to the Capitol.
But new, disturbing details about the call have emerged this week, offering a glimpse into Trump’s immediate reaction to the insurrection.
CNN’s report about the call cites several Republican lawmakers who were briefed on the conversation. One of them was Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), who recounted McCarthy’s call with Trump at a virtual town hall earlier this week.
Herrera Beutler ― who was among the 10 Republican House members who voted to impeach Trump over his role in the Capitol attack ― described the call as “chilling.”
Corroborating CNN’s reporting, she said Trump had told McCarthy the rioters were “more upset” about his election loss than he was.
“The president was basically saying, ‘Nah, I’m OK with this,’” the congresswoman said. “Did he send anyone in to help? No. But he did place calls to senators while they were in lockdown? And you know what he said? He said, ‘Can you do something to further delay the electoral counting?’”
Trump ― who encouraged supporters to “fight like hell” and march to the Capitol during a rally on Jan. 6 ― only told the insurrectionists to “go home” many hours after they’d breached the building, forcing lawmakers to take cover and evacuate. Five people, including a Capitol police officer, were killed as a result of the attack.
For his role in inciting the riot, Trump was impeached ― for the second time ― by the House of Representatives before he left office last month. His impeachment trial in the Senate is currently underway, and several GOP lawmakers told CNN they believe Trump’s call with McCarthy should be considered by senators as evidence of Trump’s culpability.
McCarthy has said that Trump “bears responsibility” for the Capitol attack ― though he opposed impeaching Trump for his role.
“He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding,” McCarthy said of Trump last month.
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