- Leaked audio captured House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s private comments about his GOP colleagues over the Capitol riot.
- NYT reporters Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin obtained the audio in reporting for a forthcoming book.
- In one call, McCarthy ruminated if a GOP lawmaker could be banned from Twitter over a now-deleted tweet about the Jan. 6 attack.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wondered aloud if some GOP lawmakers could be banned from social media over controversial posts like former President Donald Trump, according to a report by The New York Times.
In audio recordings obtained by Times reporters Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin, the House Minority Leader was heard expressing concern over the comments of his GOP colleagues inciting violence in the wake of the Capitol riot.
McCarthy reportedly called out some of the aforementioned lawmakers by name, including GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz and Mo Brooks. (Brooks delivered a speech at a rally preceding the Capitol siege.)
On a call with Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and other GOP leaders, McCarthy discussed other GOP lawmakers who had made concerning remarks regarding the Capitol siege, including Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Louie Gohmert of Texas, and Barry Moore of Alabama, according to The Times.
At one point of the call, a now-deleted tweet by Moore was read, in which the Alabama lawmaker commented on the shooting death of pro-Trump rioter Ashli Babbitt.
“I Understand (sic) it was a black police officer that shot the white female veteran,” he tweeted the weekend following the January 6 attack. “You know that doesn’t fit the narrative.”
After the comment was read on the call, McCarthy said in response: “Can’t they take their Twitter accounts away, too?” alluding to Trump’s ban from the social media platform in early January 2021.
McCarthy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
The release of this audio follows the reporting of a slew of other statements he has reportedly said behind closed doors, including one where he privately blamed Trump for the Capitol riot to his colleagues, according to leaked audio previously obtained by The Times. Before the tapes were released, the House GOP leader denied making the statements.
“I’ve had it with this guy,” McCarthy said of Trump during a phone call with House Republicans, according to reporters Burns and Martin. “What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it.”
Democrats tore into McCarthy for defending Trump publicly and denouncing him privately, calling McCarthy “feckless, spineless” and a “liar.”