House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is embroiled in a major scandal after MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow played audio proving he lied about saying he would ask Donald Trump to resign.
Maddow, who expects calls for McCarthy to resign in response, obtained the audio of a call between McCarthy and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from reporters Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin of The New York Times.
Experts explained why it is such a big scandal for McCarthy.
"Wow. McCarthy literally today said this was a lie and just a few hours later the tape with his voice from his mouth proves THAT was a lie. Incredible. [McCarthy] ought to be ashamed," said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). "Republicans, your leaders think you are dumb. Let’s be done with them."
"House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy refused to testify to the Jan. 6 committee, saying all his statements were already public — except they weren’t, and through Liz Cheney, the committee has known all along that he said Trump should resign," noted Guardian reporter Hugo Lowell.
One McCarthy lie proving another lie was also noted by Politico's Kyle Cheney.
When McCarthy blew off the select committee, he defiantly said his views were all public and he has \u201cnothing else to add.\u201d\n\nThat is plainly false. https://republicanleader.house.gov/leader-mccarthys-statement-about-pelosis-illegitimate-select-committee/\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/0iBgRfjf3I— Kyle Cheney (@Kyle Cheney) 1650591292
"McCarthy stepped on a rake with a denial - question now is how his conference and Trump react," wrote New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.
Lincoln Project co-founder Reed Galen suggested that Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and Jim Jordan (R-OH) were imagining themselves holding McCarthy's job.
"Greene, Gosar and Jordan are licking their chops," he said.
Question for Kevin McCarthy, @GOPLeader\u2026 how can you honestly feel ok with the lies? Yes, other people lie too, but you have claimed to fight for a higher purpose. You went from one day asking Trump to resign, a day later . Honestly Kevin, is it worth it?pic.twitter.com/0x6lSgY11i— Adam Kinzinger (@Adam Kinzinger) 1650592178
CNN's Abby Phillip zeroed in on what McCarthy's lie says about the Republican Party.
"What’s wild is that a lot of people knew that McCarthy was lying about that call but he did it anyway. The conspiracy of silence in the GOP around private dissent with Trump is extraordinary," she wrote.
Jonah Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Dispatch, suggested there might be some poetic justice.
"I think there would be no more fitting end to Kevin McCarthy’s dream of becoming Speaker than the 'scandal' of him being exposed as privately believing the right and moral thing," he wrote.
McCarthy also wanted Twitter to suspend accounts of some of the members of his caucus.
"McCarthy pining for Big Tech to take away some of his members' Twitter accounts may be a more egregious sin than the Trump stuff," wrote David Weigel of The Washington Post.
BREAKING: GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy wanted Twitter to suspend the accounts of other Republican members of Congress, according to reporting by Jonathan Martin @jmartNYT and Alex Burns @alexburnsNYTpic.twitter.com/jwAoMAqYCn— Maddow Blog (@Maddow Blog) 1650591451