Trump and Kevin McCarthy Had a Screaming Match When President Refused to Call Off Capitol Rioters: Report
When a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, then-President Donald Trump was engaged a screaming match with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, refusing to tell the rioters to stand down, according to a new report.
The argument happened over an expletive-laced phone call after McCarthy insisted that the rioters were Trump supporters and begged him to call them off, CNN reported on Friday.
"Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are," Trump said, according to lawmakers who were briefed on the call by McCarthy and spoke to the outlet.
McCarthy then furiously told Trump that rioters were breaking into his office through a window, snapping back, "Who the f— do you think you are talking to?" a Republican lawmaker familiar with the call told CNN.
Representatives for Trump and McCarthy did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
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Republican members of Congress told CNN that the heated exchange showed Trump had no intention of calling off the mob as his supporters tried to overturn the election results certifying Joe Biden's win.
"He is not a blameless observer, he was rooting for them," one Republican House member said. "On January 13, Kevin McCarthy said on the floor of the House that the President bears responsibility and he does."
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Washington State Republican who voted to impeach Trump in January for the attack, told the news network, "You have to look at what he did during the insurrection to confirm where his mind was at. That line right there demonstrates to me that either he didn't care, which is impeachable, because you cannot allow an attack on your soil, or he wanted it to happen and was OK with it, which makes me so angry."
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"We should never stand for that, for any reason, under any party flag," Herrera Beutler added. "I'm trying really hard not to say the F-word."
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, a Republican from Ohio who also voted to impeach Trump, said the call "speaks to the former President's mindset."
"He was not sorry to see his unyieldingly loyal vice president or the Congress under attack by the mob he inspired," Gonzalez told CNN. "In fact, it seems he was happy about it or at the least enjoyed the scenes that were horrifying to most Americans across the country."
Reports of tension between Trump and McCarthy during the Capitol Riots comes two weeks after the two men held a meeting a Mar-a-Lago.
According to a statement from the former president's office, Trump and McCarthy "discussed many topics, number one of which was taking back the House in 2022," USA Today reported.
Earlier this week, members of the House of Representatives prosecuting Trump for the insurrection constructed a timeline of the events before, during and after the attack on the Capitol — arguing that the former president incited a mob to storm the building and showed no remorse as the violence unfolded.
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During their presentation, lawmakers showed clips of the speech near the White House that Trump gave prior to the riot, in which he urged his supporters to "march" on the Capitol and "fight like hell" to challenge the certification of Biden's electoral victory.
House impeachment managers also brought up the threat to former Vice President Mike Pence that arose as a result of the breaching of the Capitol, saying Trump showed no indication that he was concerned about the danger he created.
A previously unseen security video clip that aired on Wednesday showed Pence and his family being evacuated from near the Senate chamber as rioters breached the building.
The mob attack ultimately resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer.
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