Former President Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said their relationship hasn’t fractured after recordings surfaced this week of McCarthy saying he would advise former President Trump to resign if impeached following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal from his Mar-a-Lago residence, Trump said he “didn’t like the call” that McCarthy made to the GOP conference, but that their relationship is still on good terms.
The New York Times released audio recordings this week of a GOP conference call on Jan. 10, 2021, made just days after the Capitol riot.
During the call, McCarthy said that if he was impeached, he would advise Trump to resign.
“What I think I’m going to do, is I’m going to call him,” McCarthy said, according to the recording. “The only discussion I would have with him is that I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign. I mean, that would be my take, but I don’t think he would take it. But I don’t know.”
McCarthy had previously denied telling colleagues Trump should resign.
Trump told the Journal that once McCarthy found out “the facts,” he changed his stance.
“But almost immediately as you know, because he came here and we took a picture right there — you know, the support was very strong,” Trump said, adding McCarthy changed his stance “when he found out the facts.”
“I think it’s all a big compliment, frankly,” Trump continued. “They realized they were wrong and supported me.”
McCarthy also told colleagues on the phone call that he had “had it” with Trump.
“I want everybody to have all the information needed. I’ve had it with this guy. What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it,” McCarthy said in the recording of the call, first released on CNN Friday morning.
McCarthy also said Friday that his relationship with the former president is still intact, according to footage of the California Republican captured by CBS reporter Musadiq Bidar.
The minority leader said that he and Trump talked twice Friday and had a “good conversation” about the recordings.
“I never asked President Trump to resign,” McCarthy asserted.
Pressed on whether the House GOP Leader ever thought Trump should resign, McCarthy pushed back.
“No, I’ve never asked the president to resign, never thought he should resign,” McCarthy said.
The California Republican also claimed while speaking to reporters that his call with House leadership on Jan. 10 was “overblown” adding that Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) had asked him about the 25th Amendment and needed “to explain what else would happen.”
“I just walked through different scenarios, that’s all that happened,” McCarthy asserted and later said “it was never in the process to ask President Trump to resign.”
During his interview with the Journal, Trump would not directly say if he would support McCarthy becoming the Speaker of the House if the Republicans take back the House this fall.
“Well, I don’t know of anybody else that’s running and I think that I’ve had actually a very good relationship with him,” Trump told The Journal. “I like him. And other than that brief period of time, I suspect he likes me quite a bit.”