The ex-president was angry at McCarthy for his speech on the floor before Trump was impeached for a second time by the House of Representatives on January 13.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (left) will meet with former President Donald Trump (right) Thursday in Florida, Punchbowl News first reported, after assigning some blame to the president for the January 6 insurrection
McCarthy said that President Donald Trump is ‘free from fault’ for the violent siege of Capitol Hill on January 6 after the president appeared at a rally on the ellipse (pictured) and encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol
One week ago, Trump landed in West Palm Beach on Air Force One to start his post-presidency from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. McCarthy is in South Florida for donor meetings
McCarthy voted against Trump’s impeachment, but told lawmakers that the ‘president is free from fault.’
‘The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,’ McCarthy said. ‘He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.’
The California Republican also pushed back on a conspiracy theory brewing on the right – that ‘Antifa’ was actually responsible for the insurrection.
‘There was absolutely no evidence of that. And conservatives should be the first to say so,’ he said on the House floor.
Trump had appeared at a rally on the ellipse and encouraged his supporters to march on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers were meeting to certify the election result.
Several days after the House impeachment, Politico reported that Trump and McCarthy had a friendly conversation and that their relationship remains ‘cordial.’
The New York Times was first to report that Trump had called McCarthy a ‘p***y,’ a word Trump had also used in a conversation with Vice President Mike Pence, as he tried to pressure Pence to overturn the election result when he presided over the January 6 Electoral College certification in Congress.
Pence did no such thing and the election was eventually certified for Biden in the early hours of January 7, after Trump supporters had been cleared from the Capitol Building.
McCarthy twice voted in favor of challenges to Electoral College votes – in Arizona and, later, Pennsylvania.
McCarthy allies also argued that the House GOP leader should get credit for there only being 10 Republican defectors in the House impeachment vote.
That number made Trump’s second impeachment the most bipartisan in history, but the defectors only made up a tiny portion of the caucus.
One of the defectors, however, was McCarthy’s No. 3 in the House, Rep. Liz Cheney.
Trump is now awaiting his trial in the Senate, which is due to start in early February.
On Monday, Trump formally opened his ‘office of the former president’ from Palm Beach County, the locale of his Mar-a-Lago resort, where he’s been since before noon on President Joe Biden’s inauguration day.
Without access to his Twitter account, the ex-president has been relatively quiet, though his meeting with McCarthy indicates he plans to stay politically involved.
Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, however,
‘The party has to stay neutral. I’m not telling anybody to run or not to run in 2024,’ McDaniel told The Associated Press.
She had been asked if she wanted to see Trump on the ballot again.
‘That’s going to be up to those candidates going forward. What I really do want to see him do, though, is help us win back majorities in 2022,’ McDaniel added.