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Days after January 6, McCarthy said Trump admitted to having some responsibility for the attack on Capitol Hill.

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Days after January 6, McCarthy said Trump admitted to having some responsibility for the attack on Capitol Hill.

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McCarthy shared details of his conversation with Trump in a little-noticed local radio interview a week after the insurgency, in which McCarthy said he supported a committee to investigate the attack and supported censorship of the president Trump at the time. While McCarthy made similar comments about supporting censorship and a bipartisan commission in other places around the same time, the radio interview – in which McCarthy has harsh words for Trump and strongly condemns the violent attack – provides yet another example of how the California Republican changed his tone in the year following the insurgency.

“I say he has the responsibility,” McCarthy said on KERN, a local radio station in Bakersfield, Calif., On January 12 of last year. “He told me personally that he has some responsibility. I think a lot of people do.”

McCarthy shared a similar account last year with House Republicans on a private conference call a day earlier, according to multiple sources on the call. That call was reported at the time, but CNN got a more detailed reading of the call on Thursday.

“Let me be clear with you and I have been very clear with the President. He bears responsibility for his words and his actions. No ifs and no buts,” McCarthy told House Republicans. on Jan. 11, 2021, according to the reading obtained by CNN. from a source listening to the call. “I asked him personally today if he was responsible for what happened. If he feels bad about what happened. He told me he had a part of it. responsibility for what happened. But he has to admit it. “

Trump never publicly accepted responsibility for the attack and McCarthy said Thursday at a press conference, he couldn’t recall telling House Republicans last year that Trump took responsibility for the attack.

In the local radio interview, McCarthy said he urged the president on a phone call during the attack on the Capitol to call the National Guard and be on TV to call back the rioters.

“I spoke to the president during the riot,” McCarthy said. “I was the first person to call him. I told him to go on national television, to tell these people to stop. He said he didn’t know what was going on. the president, he has a responsibility. You know what the president does, but you know what? We all do.

“I called the president, I told him, bring the national guard, go on television,” he added later.

The details of McCarthy’s call with Trump – and whether Trump has ever admitted guilt in the riots – have been a topic of interest to the special House committee investigating the January 6 riot, saying it was is the key to understanding the state of mind of the former president during the attack on Capitol Hill and in the weeks that followed.

McCarthy this week refused to cooperate with the committee, which wants to question him about his communications with Trump, White House staff and others in the week following the Jan.6 attack. McCarthy says he has nothing relevant to offer the panel since he has already publicly revealed that he had a phone call with Trump on Jan.6.

The committee also wants to know why McCarthy has since changed his tone and whether Trump or any of his associates asked McCarthy to change his tone about the president’s role in the attack and their private conversations.

CNN previously reported a phone call between McCarthy and Trump as Capitol Hill was attacked on January 6, where Trump said rioters cared more about the 2020 presidential election results than McCarthy.

In his radio interview, McCarthy strongly supported Trump’s censorship as an alternative to impeachment – which he strongly opposed – and said he supported a bipartisan committee to investigate the causes of the attack. McCarthy also said he raised the idea of ​​censorship with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

“What I came up with – what I think history will say, I’m right – because it’s the right thing to do, I believe,” McCarthy said. “Have a bipartisan commission and get all your facts, actually work with the grand jury to find out at the end, instead of predetermining, whether or not someone is guilty.”

“The only thing about impeachment, why would you do it so quickly? I say let’s have a bipartisan commission, let’s learn all the facts,” he added.

Hoyer confirmed that McCarthy started censorship as an alternative to impeachment, but called it a “relatively fleeting conversation.”

Days after January 6, McCarthy said Trump admitted to having some responsibility for the attack on Capitol Hill.

 | Breaking News Updates

“I didn’t take it as a deep, long, thoughtful strategy,” Hoyer said Thursday. “He was looking for options because at that point he was holding the president responsible.”

McCarthy on Thursday defended his decision not to cooperate with the select committee despite his previous support for a bipartisan commission and also said he would cooperate with any investigation. McCarthy said he made the comments before President Nancy Pelosi decided to “play politics” with the select committee by vetoing two choices, Rep. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks.

McCarthy said in a local radio interview that Trump did not tell the crowd to attack the Capitol, but was still responsible for telling them that Vice President Mike Pence could kick voters out. Trump has repeatedly raised the idea that Pence could delay or hinder Electoral College certification.

“Did he tell the crowd to hang him? What he said Mike Pence could do, he couldn’t do,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy also remarked in the interview how planned the attack seemed, undermining a narrative that has since taken hold in the GOP that the riot was just a spontaneous protest that got out of hand.

“So if you say the speech caused it, these people are already scheduled for it,” McCarthy said during the radio interview. “The people had, had really made a plan. They climbed the walls. They brought ropes.”

CNN’s Jamie Gangel and Ryan Nobles contributed to this story.



Days after January 6, McCarthy said Trump admitted to having some responsibility for the attack on Capitol Hill.

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