House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., insists he did the correct thing in pulling all of his Republican selections from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Jan. 6 select committee.
Former President Donald Trump has voiced frustration that his congressional allies were not able to defend him during the Jan. 6 panel’s televised hearings, the Washington Examiner reported.
McCarthy refused to allow any of his Republican choices sit on the committee after Pelosi blocked pro-Trump Reps. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, from sitting on the panel last July.
The leader told reporters Wednesday that several Republicans on the panel wouldn’t have had an impact on the committee’s messaging.
“Why would you do it — Pelosi is going to pick and choose. So the only Republicans that would be on it would be the ones that Pelosi would allow on — it would be no different outcome in this thing,” McCarthy said, the Examiner reported. “It’s showing us it’s a purely political process.”
Trump, however, said McCarthy erred in allowing Pelosi’s committee to consist only of Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.
“I think in retrospect, [McCarthy should’ve put Republicans on] to just have a voice. The Republicans don’t have a voice. They don’t even have anything to say,” Trump told Punchbowl News.
“I think it would’ve been far better to have Republicans [on the panel]. [Banks and Jordan] were great. They were great and would’ve been great to have them. But when Pelosi wrongfully didn’t allow them, we should’ve picked other people. We have a lot of good people in the Republican Party.”
Trump has told people that his recent endorsement of McCarthy concerned the lawmaker’s reelection bid and not the speaker’s position.
A GOP lawmaker close to Trump told the Examiner that the former president “made known to his allies” that McCarthy “begged for” the endorsement to include language backing him for speaker.
Despite apparent differences between Trump and McCarthy, Examiner sources said the leader remained the front-runner to become the next speaker.
“McCarthy is still the overwhelming favorite to be speaker,” a senior Republican operative told the Examiner
“With an overwhelming midterm landslide favoring Republicans, McCarthy gets Trump’s endorsement and the gavel.”
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