It has recently been reported that 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.
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“@jim_Jordan is the hardest working and most talented member of the Republican House Conference,” Gaetz wrote. “And every member knows it.”
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.
“That would be my take, but I don’t think he would take it,” McCarthy said. “But I don’t know.”
The Times added:
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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.”