Gaetz Squeezes McCarthy Following Newly Released Audio From Aspiring House Speaker

Gaetz Squeezes McCarthy Following Newly Released Audio From Aspiring House Speaker

Conservative firebrand Rep. (R-Fla.) wasted no time Tuesday night attacking House Minority Leader (R-Calif.) and his number two Rep. (R-La.).

Gaetz described the top two Republicans in Congress as “weak men” for “holding sniveling calls with Liz Cheney” in the days after the U.S. Capitol riot.

In audio recordings leaked to New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns, McCarthy and Scalise both voiced concerns about Gaetz potentially inciting violence after the Jan. 6 attack with rhetoric that promoted unfounded election conspiracy theories.

“He’s putting people in jeopardy,” McCarthy said of Gaetz in a conference call with House GOP leaders.

LISTEN:

The reporters obtained the audio while writing their upcoming book “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future.”

McCarthy’s comments came four days after the U.S. Capitol riot and contrasted sharply with his public stance on the riot and failed negotiations leading up to the creation of the House select committee investigating the attack, colloquially known as the Jan. 6 commission.

“He Doesn’t Need to be Doing This…”

On the call, an exasperated McCarthy chastises Gaetz, exclaiming, “he doesn’t need to be doing this,” adding that “We saw what people would do in the Capitol, you know, and these people came prepared with rope, with everything else.”

He continued, “Tension is too high. The country is too crazy. I do not want to look back and think we caused something or we missed something and someone got hurt. I don’t want to play politics with any of that.”

Scalise called Gaetz’s comments “potentially illegal” on the same call.

McCarthy made clear in a speech one week after the riot that while he didn’t support impeachment, Trump bore “responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.” When it became clear Trump’s popularity hadn’t faltered among the GOP base, McCarthy backed off those remarks and (at least partially) rebuilt his relationship with the former president.

A Future Speakership Bid Imperiled – Or Not?

While some of the most famous conservatives in the grassroots movement have denounced McCarthy as a “Democratic puppet” who doesn’t deserve to be Speaker, the Republican politician talked his way out of the controversy at a closed-door House GOP meeting.

According to multiple sources, McCarthy defended his comments, saying the circumstances compelled him to discuss every scenario with supposedly trusted colleagues in private. The California Republican added that the tapes only included a portion of his remarks and were taken out of context.

The aspiring Speaker of the House received a standing ovation from his caucus.

Mediaite adds:

Raju’s reporting was corroborated by NBC News’ Haley Talbot, who got an on-the-record statement about the applause from Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-SC).

For his part, Gaetz’s opinion of McCarthy seems unchanged, though he had a less aggressive response when asked following Wednesday’s GOP conference meeting.

Other Critics Remain Unwavering

While House Republicans largely presented a united front today, Tucker Carlson has unabashedly gone after McCarthy, and it seems likely he will continue to.

Do you share Gaetz and Carlson’s frustration with McCarthy, or are their criticisms overblown? Let us know in the comments below, and while you’re at it, tell us if you think McCarthy has hurt his bid for Speaker!

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.

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