You know that if Nancy Pelosi had been caught on tape saying that President Biden should resign, after unequivocally denying having said so, Fox News would be on it 24/7. But with GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy saying that about Donald Trump after Jan. 6th…
In case you missed it, yesterday The New York Times reported that immediately after the January 6th insurrection both McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed Donald Trump for the violence and “vowed to drive him from politics,” as the Times put it. That is, until the two GOP "leaders" crumpled like cheap suits.
But the article, written by Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin, which was an excerpt from their forthcoming book, contains this:
Mr. McCarthy went so far as to say he would push Mr. Trump to resign immediately: “I’ve had it with this guy,” he told a group of Republican leaders, according to an audio recording of the conversation obtained by The New York Times.
McCarthy subsequently issued a statement on Twitter calling the reporting “totally false and wrong.”
Unfortunately for McCarthy, Burns and Martin aired the recording last night on The Rachel Maddow Show. My Crooks and Liars colleague, Susan Madrak, revealed the receipts:
MCCARTHY: But I think I'm going to do is, I'm going to call [Trump]. This is what I think, we know [impeachment will] pass the House. I think there's a chance it'll pass the Senate, even when he is gone. And I think there's a lot of different ramifications for that. Now, I haven't had a discussion with the Dems, that if he did resign, what would happen?
Now, this is one personal fear I have. I do not want to get into any conversation about Pence pardoning. Again, the only discussion I would have with him is that, I think this will pass. And it will be my recommendation you should resign. I mean, that would be my take. But I don't think he would take it. But I don't know.
Again, I can just imagine how Fox would jump on this had it been Nancy Pelosi talking that way about President Biden, then pretending otherwise. Not only would Trump TV be foaming at the mouth with new rounds of demonization about Democrats, the network would also use the matter for new rounds of angry denunciations of any network that didn’t cover it the way Trump TV demanded.
But since we’re talking about a Republican scandal… near total TV silence today.
Media Matters, which is much better able to review the entire network’s coverage than I am, wrote this early this afternoon:
Fox News has not covered the tape on the air, and late Friday morning its website published a strange article with the headline “McCarthy rebuts reporting on leaked recordings recommending Trump resign as Cheney, Scalise deny involvement.” The article only contained references to events from earlier on Thursday — including McCarthy’s denial — before the tapes actually became public later that night. A person who read only this article would not even know that the audio recording is now in the public record and that McCarthy’s public denial was revealed as a complete lie.
At 5 PM EDT, Media Matters provided an update:
On Friday afternoon’s edition of The Story with Martha MacCallum, Fox ran a brief headline news update on this story, leading with McCarthy’s earlier denial plus a chyron, “McCarthy: Didn’t Say Trump Should Quit After Riot.” (Guest anchor Trace Gallagher also described the story as “breaking now,” even though it was already a day old.)
Gallagher added that the Times had “released what it says is audio of the conversation among House GOP leaders four days after the riot.” The segment never played the audio clip itself, so Fox viewers still did not hear McCarthy’s own voice saying that Trump should resign.
You can listen to the bombshell recording of McCarthy below, from MSNBC's April 21, 2022 The Rachel Maddow Show, via Crooks and Liars. Underneath, you can watch Gallagher downplay it on the April 22, 2022 The Story with Martha MacCallum, via Media Matters.
Oh, and since last night, Burns and Martin have released more tapes. On CNN today, McCarthy was heard saying, Trump bears responsibility for January 6th, “No ifs, ands, or buts.”