House minority leader Kevin McCarthy reportedly blew up at Donald Trump when he excused his supporters for attacking the U.S. Capitol.
The California Republican had a fiery exchange with the former president on Jan. 6, 2021, but a new book, "The Enabler," by Robert Draper, adds new details to the public understanding of that phone call, according to excerpts published by Politico Playbook.
“Well, Kevin,” Trump told McCarthy just before 3 p.m., as rioters continued raging inside the Capitol, “I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
McCarthy fired back, according to an account he gave later to a GOP colleague.
“More upset?” McCarthy said, according to that account. “THEY'RE TRYING TO F*CKING KILL ME!”
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) later went public with details about that phone call, about which House impeachment managers unsuccessfully tried to get her testimony during the Senate trial, and McCarthy later berated her so forcefully that she cried.
“After all the work I have done for the Republican Party, the money I have raised!” McCarthy shouted during a private meeting in his office, according to the book. “After all the work I have done for you! … I alone am taking all the heat to protect people from Trump! I alone am holding the party together! I have been working with Trump to keep him from going after Republicans like you and blowing up the party and destroying all our work! … You should have come to me! Why did you go to the press? This is no way to thank me!”
Herrera Beutler, who learned about the call when she approached him for advice about her vote on Trump's impeachment, and McCarthy told her the unvarnished truth about the former president's actions, knowing it would likely cause her to vote for his impeachment -- which she did.
“What did you want me to do? Lie?” Herrera Beutler told McCarthy after going public. “I did what I thought was right!”