McCarthy Said Trump Acknowledged ‘Some Responsibility’ for Jan. 6

Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, told G.O.P. lawmakers in the days after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol that former President Donald J. Trump acknowledged that he bore “some responsibility” for what happened that day, new audio revealed.

The audio obtained by The New York Times that emerged on Friday is part of a series of new revelations about Republican leaders’ private condemnations of Mr. Trump in the days after his supporters stormed the Capitol as part of an effort to stop the certification of electoral votes for Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“Let me be very clear to all of you, and I have been very clear to the president: he bears responsibilities for his words and actions,” Mr. McCarthy said on the call, which took place on Jan. 11. “No if, ands or buts.”

“I asked him personally today, does he hold responsibility for what happened?” Mr. McCarthy said. “Does he feel bad about what happened? He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened and he’d need to acknowledge that.”

Mr. McCarthy’s assertion is at odds with the former president’s refusal, then and now, to accept responsibility for the deadly attack. It illustrates the vast gulf between the private, derisive tone Republican leaders use about the former president and their public flattery of the de facto leader of their party.

Mr. Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

When Mr. McCarthy was asked in a news conference earlier this year about the call with House Republicans after the attack, he sidestepped the question. “I’m not sure what call you’re talking about,” Mr. McCarthy said.

The New York Times on Thursday reported that Mr. McCarthy told Republicans he planned to urge Mr. Trump to resign. The reporting is based on the upcoming book “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future.”

Mr. McCarthy disputed that reporting, but in an audio clip obtained by The Times of a different phone call with Republican lawmakers, Mr. McCarthy said he would tell Mr. Trump of the impeachment resolution: “I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign.” The Times has reviewed the full recording of the conversation, which runs just over an hour.



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