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Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz appears to be throwing his support behind Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan as a possible replacement for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy following the release of audio where McCarthy said he was considering advising then-President Donald Trump to resign.
Gaetz gave Jordan a strong endorsement in a response to a Twitter user who had urged him and Jordan to take over the House GOP leadership from McCarthy.
“@jim_Jordan is the hardest working and most talented member of the Republican House Conference,” Gaetz wrote. “And every member knows it.”
.@jim_Jordan is the hardest working and most talented member of the Republican House Conference.
And every member knows it. https://t.co/VO7tQ4O9kW
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) April 23, 2022
— SPORTS CIRCUS INT. (@SPORTSCIRCUSINT) April 24, 2022
McCarthy on Thursday denied that he asked then-President Donald Trump to step down immediately following the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol Building, but audio released later in the day appears to show that in fact, he did make such a request.
Thursday morning, The New York Times reported that the House GOP leader had considered calling on Trump to resign which led to McCarthy’s office issuing a blanket denial. But then, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow played an audio recording Thursday evening which led to doubts about the veracity of the California Republican’s claim.
“My gut tells me no,” McCarthy reportedly said during a private call with other GOP members in response to Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyoming) question about whether Trump would resign, according to audio aired on MSNBC. “I am seriously thinking about having that conversation with him tonight. I haven’t talked to him in a couple of days. From what I know of him, I mean you guys all know him, too, do you think he’d ever back away?
“We know it’ll pass the House, I think there’s a chance it’ll pass the Senate even when he’s gone. And I think there are a lot of different ramifications for that. … The only discussion I would have with him is I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation that he should resign,” McCarthy added in reference to an impeachment referral.
McCarthy:I’ve had it with this guy pic.twitter.com/lweFNbb7Y9
— Acyn (@Acyn) April 22, 2022
“That would be my take, but I don’t think he would take it,” McCarthy said. “But I don’t know.”
The Times added:
In the days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building, the two top Republicans in Congress, Representative Kevin McCarthy and Senator Mitch McConnell told associates they believed President Trump was responsible for inciting the deadly riot and vowed to drive him from politics.
Mr. McCarthy went so far as to say he would push Mr. Trump to resign immediately: “I’ve had it with this guy,” he told a group of Republican leaders, according to an audio recording of the conversation obtained by The New York Times.
Before the audio recording was released by Maddow, a spokesperson for McCarthy’s office told the Times: “McCarthy never said he’d call Trump to say he should resign.” In addition, McCarthy released a statement as well calling the Times’ report “totally false and wrong.”
“It comes as no surprise that the corporate media is obsessed with doing everything it can to further a liberal agenda,” McCarthy said. “This promotional book tour is no different. If the reporters were interested in truth why would they ask for comment after the book was printed?”
My statement on the New York Times pic.twitter.com/PWi2WkoWzh
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) April 21, 2022
“The past year and a half have proven that our country was better off when President Trump was in the White House and rather than address the real issues facing Americans, the corporate media is more concerned with profiting from manufactured political intrigue from politically-motivated sources,” he continued. “Our country has suffered enough under failed one-party Democrat rule and on amount of media ignorance and bias will stop Americans from delivering a clear message this fall that it is time for change.”
The leaked recording led Gaetz to accuse Cheney of recording the conversation “for the New York Times” on Friday morning, adding a warning for McCarthy: “You should have trusted my instincts, not your own.”
While I was rallying in Wyoming against Liz Cheney…
Kevin McCarthy was defending Liz Cheney among House Republicans…
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) April 22, 2022
“While I was rallying in Wyoming against Liz Cheney…Kevin McCarthy was defending Liz Cheney among House Republicans,” he tweeted. “While Liz Cheney was secretly recording Kevin McCarthy for the New York Times.”
For her part, a spokesperson for Cheney denied she was the source of the leak.