Kevin McCarthy Contradicts Trump's Advice for Republicans Not to Vote in 2022 Elections

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California has contradicted Republican former President Donald Trump's advice for Republicans not to vote in "rigged" elections.

"People should participate in their elections," McCarthy told reporters on Thursday. He added that people should vote to "change the direction" of the country.

In an October 13 statement, Trump wrote, "If we don't solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in '22 or '24. It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do."

For months before the 2020 elections even occurred, Trump baselessly claimed that an unprecedented nationwide conspiracy of voter fraud would "steal" the election from him. After losing the election, he continued to claim that he had only lost due to a massive plot of vote-rigging.

Kevin McCarthy Donald Trump Republicans 2022 elections
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is urging Republicans to vote in 2022 despite former President Donald Trump's call to boycott "rigged" elections. In this photo, McCarthy (R) speaks as Trump listens at the White House on January 4, 2019. Alex Wong/Getty

Despite Trump's claims, his former attorney general, the head of U.S. cybersecurity infrastructure, and statewide audits have all concluded that there's no evidence that the 2020 election was stolen.

Soon after Trump issued his October 13 statement, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene urged Republicans to turn out in large numbers in 2022 despite the former president's advice.

"Voices online that are telling you not to vote are doing the Democrats' dirty work," the Georgia Republican posted on Twitter. "Stop listening to grifters telling you not to vote. We must root out the fraud, but we also have to VOTE."

In separate comments, Greene said Republicans needed to "flood the polls" in 2022 to stop Democrats from winning "by default." A major Trump supporter, she has also advocated for auditing the results of the 2020 election as well as prosecuting "the fraud" of elections in general.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has also publicly disagreed with Trump's suggestion not to vote. On the October 17 installment of Meet the Press, Hutchinson called Trump's advice "not constructive." He also called a Republican focus on voter fraud a "recipe for disaster in 2022."

Instead, Hutchinson said, Republicans should focus their messaging on supply chain disruptions, the ongoing pandemic and the alleged curtailing of individual freedoms under Democratic President Joe Biden.

Approximately 66 percent of Republicans continue to insist that "the election was rigged and stolen from Trump," according to a Yahoo News/YouGov poll conducted in late July and early August. The poll found that just 18 percent believe "Joe Biden won fair and square."

Republicans worry that repeated claims of vote-rigging will lead Republican voters to believe that their votes don't matter, keeping them from the ballot box on election day.

A number of Trump supporters on social media have also expressed confusion over and disagreement with Trump's advice. Not voting would essentially pave the way for an easy victory for the Democrats, they said.

Newsweek contacted McCarthy's office for comment.