One of the few House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump over the attack on the United States Capitol said Sunday that his party was “in a perpetual state of denial” over the former president’s lie that his loss to Joe Biden was the result of voter fraud.
At the same time, the Republican leader in the House refused to deny that during the deadly riot on January 6, when he asked Trump to suspend supporters, the then-president told him to “fight like hell” to overturn the elections, Trump said, “Well Kevin, I guess these people were more upset about the election than you.”
Representative Peter Meijer spoke to CNN’s Inside Politics. Minority leader Kevin McCarthy appeared on Fox News Sunday. Both are part of a party that remains in the hands of the former president.
In February, a Republican congresswoman, Jaime Herrera Beutler, saying McCarthy told him what Trump said on a call as the riot progressed.
“When McCarthy finally contacted the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and forcefully call off the riots,” he said, “the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa [leftwing activists] that he had violated the Capitol.
McCarthy refuted that and told the president that they were Trump supporters. That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said, ‘Well, Kevin, I think these people are more upset than you are about the election.’
His account contradicted Trump’s claim that he took immediate action to stop an attack that resulted in five deaths as the mob searched for lawmakers, including Vice President Mike Pence, to kidnap and possibly kill. More than 400 charges have been filed.
The media too reported As the call between McCarthy and Trump turned heated, the minority leader asked, “Who the hell do you think you’re talking to?”
McCarthy was initially critical of Trump’s behavior, but quickly backed down and supported the president when he was indicted for inciting an insurrection.
Meijer and Herrera Beutler were among 10 Republicans who voted with Democrats to send Trump to trial in the Senate, the most bipartisan vote of its kind in American history. Trump was acquitted when only seven republican senators voted to find him guilty.
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked McCarthy if Herrera Beutler’s account of his conversation with Trump was correct.
“I was the first person to contact [Trump] when the riots occurred, ”McCarthy said. “He didn’t see it. What ended the call [he] he was saying, telling me he would post something to make sure he stopped this. And that’s what he did, he posted a video later. “
Wallace responded that Trump’s call on supporters to stop the violence came “well after. And it was a pretty weak video. But I ask you specifically, did he say, ‘I guess some people are more concerned about elections than you are?’ “
“[In] In my conversation with the president, ”McCarthy said,“ I became involved in the idea of making sure that we could stop what was happening inside the Capitol. At that time, the president said he would help. “
McCarthy was also asked if Trump “ever approached you since that report You came out to talk about what you said on the January 6 phone call, and said, ‘I can’t because we’re under oath’? “
“No, that never happened,” McCarthy said. “Not even close”.
“And if it did happen,” said Wallace, “would you agree that it would be witness tampering?”
“Yeah,” McCarthy said, “but it never happened, he didn’t even come close, I never had a conversation like that. I never heard that rumor until today. “
McCarthy’s denials found an echo, or a reflection, in Meijer’s remarks to CNN.
Like others who voted for impeachment, the Michigan representative has attracted a pro-Trump challenger. On Sunday he said that the former president’s lies were “being pursued to the exclusion of being able to win more elections.”
“Now, one of the biggest challenges,” he said, “is if you don’t think you lost, if you think the 2020 election was stolen, and then you drag it out and say, ‘Well, of course, then the Senate election. Georgia must also be stolen, ‘you just live in a perpetual state of denial’. And I know there are many who do not deny it, but it is an enigma. “
On Fox News Sunday, McCarthy also declined to commit to supporting a Congressional investigation into the attack on the Capitol, despite concessions from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in an attempt to get Republicans to rally.
Insisting that any investigation should consider “political violence in this country,” McCarthy said the issue was “too important to negotiate in the press.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism