Oct 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy denied Trump knew his supporters attacked Capitol

Cover of Michael Fanone's new book, with him in foreground and U.S. Capitol in background

Credit: Atria Books

Six months after Jan. 6, 2021, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy claimed former President Donald Trump didn't know his supporters were attacking the Capitol, according to a secret tape from former D.C. police officer Michael Fanone detailed in his new book.

Driving the news: McCarthy made the comments in a meeting with Fanone and another cop who defended the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The mother of a third officer who died after the attack, was also present. Fanone describes the meeting in "Hold the Line," out Tuesday.

"I'm just telling you from my phone call that he didn't know that" his supporters were storming the Capitol, McCarthy told the group, referring to a call he had with Trump on the afternoon of Jan. 6.

  • Reality check: Jan. 6 hearing witnesses revealed Trump watched the attack unfold on TV.

When pressed on taking Jan. 6 more seriously, Fanone writes that McCarthy hinted he couldn't control fringe members of his party.

  • A spokesperson for McCarthy didn't return an email seeking comment.

The big picture: Co-written by Reuters journalist John Shiffman, "Hold the Line" also describes tapes of conversations between Fanone and D.C. police union leaders who shy away from defending Fanone in order to avoid upsetting the union's pro-Trump members.

Plus: There are vivid details about Fanone's two-decade career in D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department, including in the First District where he writes that residents are plagued by "poverty, drugs, and violence."

  • One of Fanone's first violent encounters as a police officer was with Christopher Barry, the since-deceased son of the late former Mayor Marion Barry. Fanone writes that in 2005 he responded to a domestic assault call at an apartment where the younger Barry ended up punching him and leaving him concussed.
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