House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., feared that remarks by fellow Republican lawmakers may jeopardize the security of different GOP members of Congress after the Jan. 6 riot, in keeping with new audio recordings from simply days after the assault on the Capitol.
The recordings from a Jan. 10, 2021, name obtained by The New York Times shine a brand new gentle on the depth of McCarthy’s personal issues about members of his personal caucus at a time when his public appearances downplayed these worries.
In the newly launched audio, McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., identify a number of Republicans in Congress whom they noticed as potential threats to different GOP lawmakers.
Both McCarthy and Scalise might be heard at one level elevating issues about Republican Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama, who spoke at a rally on Jan. 6 earlier than the riot, and Matt Gaetz of Florida.
“He’s putting people in jeopardy,” McCarthy mentioned of Gaetz, who had criticized Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., on TV after the riot. “And he doesn’t need to be doing this. We saw what people would do in the Capitol, you know, and these people came prepared with rope, with everything else.”
Scalise additional steered that Gaetz was crossing authorized bounds.
“It’s potentially illegal what he’s doing,” Scalise mentioned.
McCarthy was additionally essential of Brooks, who advised a pro-Trump crowd on Jan. 6 that “today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”
In the tapes, McCarthy steered that Brooks’ feedback have been “almost something that goes further than what the president said.”
While Gaetz and Brooks seemed to be the focal factors of McCarthy and Scalise’s discussions, additionally they raised issues about Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Barry Moore of Alabama and Louie Gohmert of Texas.
McCarthy’s remarks on the tapes are the newest in a string of leaks, together with textual content messages, from the interval after the November 2020 election and the times surrounding the Jan. 6 riot. In a earlier recording, McCarthy mentioned former President Donald Trump was answerable for the violence on Jan. 6 and that he would advise the president to resign.
The new tapes are more likely to pose one more problem for McCarthy in his ambitions to be House speaker if Republicans win management of the chamber within the November midterm elections, as a result of he would wish the help of his caucus to carry the highest publish. Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, can be seen as a contender for speaker.
Following the New York Times article, Gaetz blasted McCarthy and Scalise in a assertion, saying the 2 GOP leaders “disparage Trump and the Republicans in Congress who fight for him.”
“This is the behavior of weak men, not leaders,” he mentioned.
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., made related remarks in an OAN interview Tuesday, saying McCarthy’s feedback created “a huge trust issue” and “undermined the conference.”
Later Tuesday, Fox News character Tucker Carlson mentioned on his present that Republicans wanted to behave shortly to cease McCarthy from seizing the speaker’s gavel to keep away from having a “Republican Congress led by a puppet of the Democratic Party.”
NBC News has reached out to McCarthy and Scalise for remark.