Apr 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Matt Gaetz slams McCarthy over taped call with Liz Cheney

Rep. Matt Gaetz walks down the House steps at the Capitol on April 1. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on Friday blasted House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy over a leaked phone call from January 10, 2020, in which McCarthy is heard saying he planned to urge President Trump to resign after the Capitol riot.

Driving the news: "While I was rallying in Wyoming against Liz Cheney … Kevin McCarthy was defending Liz Cheney among House Republicans … While Liz Cheney was secretly recording Kevin McCarthy for the New York Times," Gaetz wrote in a tweet.

  • "@GOPLeader - you should have trusted my instincts, not your own," he wrote.

State of play: New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns released audio on Thursday night of the phone call between McCarthy and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

  • "I've had a few discussions. My gut tells me no. I'm seriously thinking of having that conversation with him tonight. I haven't talked to him in a couple days. From what I know of him — I mean, you guys all know him, too. Do you think he'd ever back away? But what I think I'm going to do is, I'm going to call him," McCarthy said in the recording.
  • Cheney's team has denied recording or leaking the tapes. "Representative Cheney did not record or leak the tape and does not know how the reporters got it," a Cheney spokesperson said, Axios' Mike Allen reports.

A McCarthy spokesperson on Thursday denied that the Republican leader said that he would call Trump to resign.

  • McCarthy himself also tweeted a statement: "The New York Times' reporting on me is totally false and wrong. ... If the reporters were interested in truth why would they ask for comment after the book was printed?"

Go deeper ... Tape shows McCarthy said he would urge Trump to resign

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