CNN host John Avlon hammered House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Friday morning, days after the senior GOP leader announced he has no intention of cooperating with the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot on Jan. 6th.
During his "Reality Check" segment, the CNN host shared competing clips of McCarthy both attacking Donald Trump for the insurrection only to, at a later date, defend the president and try to place blame with Democrats for not beefing up security on the day the former president urged his fans to march on Congress.
Sharing a clip of McCarthy explaining away his past critical comments of the former president by telling reporters, "My criticism went to everyone on that day. Why was the Capitol so ill-prepared that day?" Avlon called out the California Republican.
"It is sad to see a grown man so scared of an ex-president, because his criticism was directed at Donald Trump that day, it wasn't a free-floating condemnation of everyone," Avlon pointed out. "And notice how fast he wanted to pivot to his preferred talking point, about Capitol Hill police preparation, which he repeated three times -- that's because that's the new lie, an insinuation that [House] Speaker Nancy Pelosi might somehow be responsible for the Capitol being overrun by a violent mob of Trump supporters."
Continuing, "He's trying out the Trump playbook of project and deflect," Avlon added, "Now, one major reason why the committee wants to talk with McCarthy is because he spoke with Donald Trump that day. One of his Republican colleagues said it was a screaming match, the president didn't want to call off the rioters which is incredibly relevant to Trump's state of mind. After telling CNN he would testify, McCarthy has done a 180 -- he doesn't want to offer any details about the Trump call and he's really upset that phone records have been requested."
"Despite McCarthy's cries to the contrary, the real outrage isn't the January 6th commission, it is the attack on our Capitol that was inspired by a president's attempts to overturn the election," Avlon continued. "The fact that GOP leaders like McCarthy decided to fall in line with the big lie after the fact and try to rewrite recent history is straight out of Orwell. [They] might as well be campaigning under the banner that says 'ignorance is strength.' It shows they're willing to sacrifice almost anything on the altar of their ambition. and that's just more evidence why the threat to our democracy is far from over."
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