Jun 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump: McCarthy should've put Republicans on Jan. 6 committee

Jan. 6 committee hearing

Members of the House Select Committee during a hearing on June 21. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for his response to the Jan. 6 select committee, telling Punchbowl News on Tuesday there's "not even a question" he should've picked Republicans to join the panel.

Driving the news: McCarthy initially picked five GOP members, including Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.), to take part in the select committee. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected Jordan and Banks due to their previous objections to President Biden's Electoral College victory.

  • Pelosi accepted the three other Republicans and asked McCarthy to put forward two alternate candidates to replace Jordan and Banks. McCarthy instead pulled all five GOP members from the committee.

What they're saying: Trump told Punchbowl News it would have been "very smart" to have Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee, whose public hearings have drawn in millions of viewers.

  • "I think in retrospect [McCarthy should've put Republicans on] to just have a voice. The Republicans don't have a voice. They don't even have anything to say," Trump told Punchbowl News.
  • "I think it would've been far better to have Republicans [on the panel]. [Jim Banks and Jim Jordan] were great. They were great and would've been great to have them," he added.
  • "But when Pelosi wrongfully didn't allow them, we should've picked other people. We have a lot of good people in the Republican Party."

Worth noting: The Jan. 6 committee does have two Republican members, Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), both fierce Trump critics.

  • House Republicans have instead pursued their own Jan. 6 investigation and plan to blame the Capitol's top security officials.
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