Everything Kevin Mccarthy Said About Jan. 6 As He Refuses Committee Interview

Kevin McCarthy has refused to cooperate with the House select committee formed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in their investigation of the facts, circumstances and causes of the January 6 attack at the Capitol in 2021.

The House Minority Leader was asked to provide the committee with text messages sent between him and Trump in the days leading up to the Capitol riots.

According to a January 12 letter sent to McCarthy by Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chair of the January 6 committee, in a speech back in January 2021, the Republican leader previously said former President Donald Trump "bears responsibility" for the Capitol attack and should have "immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding."

However, in a statement issued Wednesday, January 12, McCarthy said he decided to "not participate with this select committee's abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward.

"This committee is not conducting a legitimate investigation as Speaker Pelosi took the unprecedented action of rejecting the Republican members I named to serve on the committee. It is not serving any legislative purpose. The committee's only objective is to attempt to damage its political opponents...," he alleged in the statement.

What Kevin McCarthy Said About Jan. 6 Capitol Riots

The letter sent to McCarthy—describing him as one of Trump's "closest allies in Congress"—outlined several public statements McCarthy made about the January 6 attack, which the letter said "changed markedly" after the House Minority Leader met with Trump in late January 2021.

"Despite the many substantial concerns you voiced about President Trump's responsibility for the January 6th attack, you nevertheless visited President Trump in Mar-a-Lago on January 28th (the impeachment trial began on February 9, 2021). While there, you reportedly discussed campaign planning and fundraising to retake the House majority in 2022," Thompson wrote in the letter.

Trump 'Bears Responsibility'

In a January 13 speech made on the House floor (which aired on C-Span), McCarthy said: "The President bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.

"These facts require immediate actions by President Trump: Accept his share of responsibility. Quell the brewing unrest. And ensure President-Elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term," he added.

January 6 Attack Is 'Not the American Way'

During the January 13 House floor speech, McCarthy also said: "What we saw last week was not the American way. Neither is the continued rhetoric that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president. Let's be clear, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the President of the United States in one week because he won the election."

Trump Needed to Tell Capitol Rioters 'To Stop This'

In an interview with CBS' Norah O'Donnell on the day of the attack, asked what Trump had said he'd do, McCarthy said: "I was very clear with the President when I called him. This has to stop and he has to go to the American public and tell them to stop this.

According to the select committee letter, a report of McCarthy's conversation with Trump published by Washington, D.C.'s Punchbowl News AM on January 8, 2021 claimed the former president and McCarthy "got into a screaming match" as an "enraged mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol, according to a source familiar with the episode."

The letter said McCarthy demanded the former president release a statement denouncing the mob of rioters. Trump initially refused to do it but later said he would send a Tweet, as protesters advanced into the Capitol. "That wasn't good enough for McCarthy, who wanted more," according to the letter.

Trump Was Urged to Send Help to the Capitol

According to Thompson's letter, McCarthy told a local news outlet he had a "very heated conversation" with Trump as the attack was unfolding and urged the former president "get help" to the Capitol.

"Many similar reports appear on and after January 6th from a number of other news organizations," the letter said.

...And Admitted to 'Some Degree of Responsibility' for Jan. 6 Attack

The letter also stated Politico reported that on a conference call on January 11, 2021, McCarthy stated Trump had admitted "some degree of responsibility for January 6th in his one-on-one conversations" with the House Minority Leader.

Newsweek has contacted the office of Kevin McCarthy for further comment.

Kevin McCarthy at a Capitol press conference.
Kevin McCarthy seen at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol building on August 27, 2021 in Washington, D.C. The House Minority Leader has refused to cooperate with the House select committee's investigation of the January 6 attack at the Capitol. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images