Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson ripped into House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday over recently released audio recordings of the California Republican criticizing then-President Donald Trump and fellow GOP representatives in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
McCarthy promised members of his leadership team, including House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and then-Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney, that he would encourage Trump to resign in a Jan. 10 phone call. After the top House Republican denied having the conversation, two New York Times reporters released an audio recording of the conversation. The two reporters released further clips from the call Tuesday revealing that McCarthy and Scalise were deeply concerned with the social media posts and public comments coming from some members of the GOP conference.
The two men specifically named Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, and Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, among others.
“He’s putting people in jeopardy,” McCarthy said of Gaetz. “And he doesn’t need to be doing this. We saw what people would do in the Capitol, you know, and these people came prepared with rope, with everything else.”
“It’s potentially illegal what he’s doing,” Scalise agreed.
McCarthy added that Brooks’ comments immediately preceding the riot were “almost something that goes further than what the president said.”
Carlson blasted McCarthy’s criticisms, saying that he is no better than Democrats and their allies in the press.
“Donald Trump, the sitting president, had already been silenced by those companies. But McCarthy wanted the tech oligarchs to do more, to force disobedient lawmakers off the internet,” Carlson said. “Quote, ‘Can’t they take their Twitter accounts away too?’ Those are the tape-recorded words of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, a man who in private, turns out, sounds like an MSNBC contributor. And yet unless conservatives get their act together right away, Kevin McCarthy or one of the highly liberal allies, like Elise Stefanik, is very likely to be Speaker of the House in January.”
“That would mean you would have a Republican Congress led by a puppet of the Democratic Party,” he continued. “So, you wouldn’t know any of this list unless it was leaked. And you can start to see why the people in charge oppose transparency and fervently support censorship on both sides. Why? The more you know about them, the less satisfied you are likely to become with their leadership.” (RELATED: Lou Dobbs Calls Kevin McCarthy A ‘RINO,’ Says Jim Jordan Or Matt Gaetz Would Be Better As Potential Speaker Of The House)
McCarthy first mounted a run for House Speaker in 2015, after the retirement of Ohio Rep. John Boehner. However, conservatives led by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan revolted and promoted Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to the top job. Jordan challenged McCarthy for Republican leader in 2018 after Ryan retired, but was unsuccessful in his bid.
Many Republicans have been publicly supportive of McCarthy in the wake of the releases, although some, including Gaetz and Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, have spoken out against him.