“I’m just telling you from my phone call, I don’t know that he did know that,” McCarthy told the three, speaking about his call to Trump and Trump’s knowledge of the attack. Sicknick’s mother pushed back in the meeting, according to the audio. “He already knew what was going on,” she said of Trump. “People were fighting for hours and hours and hours. This doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Fanone also challenged McCarthy about his continued defense of Trump: “While you were on the phone with him, I was getting the shit kicked out of me!” He wrote in his book, “I asked McCarthy why he would take credit for Trump’s pathetic, half-hearted late-afternoon video address to his followers. I said, ‘Trump says to his people, ‘This is what happens when you steal an election. Go home. I love you.’ What the f–k is that? That came from the president of the United States.”
Subsequent revelations in public testimony to the Jan. 6 committee proved just how brazenly McCarthy lied to the officers and Mrs. Sicknick.
In those hearings, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified about her own telephone conversations with McCarthy that day, conversations which McCarthy now says he doesn’t remember having. “You told me this whole week you aren’t coming up here,” Hutchinson said that McCarthy told her. “Why would you lie to me?” She responded that as far as she knew, there weren’t plans for Trump to go to the Capitol. McCarthy answered, “Well, he just said it on stage, Cassidy. Figure it out. Don’t come up here.”
Months before McCarthy met with the officers, in the immediate aftermath of the attack, McCarthy had no problem blaming Trump for the riot. In audio obtained by The New York Times, McCarthy told fellow Republicans that he wanted Trump to resign as they discussed impeachment. “I’ve had it with this guy,” he told a group of his leadership team. “What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that and nobody should defend it,” he told the group. That’s what he was saying before he made a call to Trump, when he told the group that he was going to tell Trump to resign.
That didn’t go as planned, according to more recording the Times obtained. Following that call, McCarthy told Republicans on a conference call: “Let me be very clear to all of you, and I have been very clear to the president: He bears responsibilities for his words and actions. [...] No if, ands or buts.”
“I asked him personally today: Does he hold responsibility for what happened?” McCarthy said. “Does he feel bad about what happened? He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened and he’d need to acknowledge that.”
Five months later, McCarthy told the officers who protected him that day and the mother of an officer who died as a result of that attack that Trump had nothing to do with any of it. Kevin McCarthy is a liar. And a bad one. You’d think he’d have learned his lesson about watching what he says in private meetings, given his track record in that whole pre-2016 election scandal: “There's … there's two people, I think, Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump… [S]wear to God.”
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