A new book from New York Times reporters Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin purports to reveal how House and Senate Minority Leaders Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), respectively, quietly railed against former President Donald Trump in the aftermath of the Capitol riot, only to back down in the near future, the Times reports.
According to This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America's Future, McCarthy and McConnell initially told colleagues in the days after the riot that they believed Trump bore responsibility for the attack, the Times writes. "I've had it with this guy," McCarthy reportedly told a group of Republican leaders.
In a phone call with other top Republicans on Jan. 8, McCarthy reportedly called Trump's behavior on Jan. 6 "atrocious and totally wrong" before inquiring about the 25th Amendment, which grants the vice president and members of the cabinet the power to remove a president from office. And in another call two days later, McConnell reportedly told GOP leaders he would advise the president to resign.
A spokesperson for McCarthy says the minority leader said no such thing. McCarthy has since remained one of Trump's staunchest supporters.
And in the Senate, McConnell reportedly told advisers shortly after the riot that "the Democrats are going to take care of the son of a b--ch for us," alluding to Trump and the imminent impeachment vote in the House.
"If this isn't impeachable, I don't know what is," McConnell had said at one point, per This Will Not Pass.
But when it came time to vote in the Senate, McConnell moved to acquit the former president (albeit not without giving a floor speech condemning him).