McCarthy’s Responses to Trump’s Criticism Over Nominations for Jan. 6 Panel

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on June 27 defended his decision in relation to nominations of the House Select Committee in response to former President Trump’s criticism.

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McCarthy asserted that he had made the right decision in an interview with Dana Perino on Fox News.

“The right decision was the decision I made. If other people change their opinion, read the rules, and I think they’ll come right back to the same conclusion,” he said.

His statement came almost a week after Trump said the top Republican in the House of Representatives erred by not having GOP members on the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol breach.

“It was a bad decision not to have representation on this Committee,” Trump told Wayne Allyn Root on his show. “That was a very, very foolish decision.”

“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 said to CEO Punchbowl News Anna Palmer.

It’s “not even a question” that McCarthy should have placed members on the panel, he said.

McCarthy picked five members for the panel, including House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) refused to seat Jordan and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) The development then prompted McCarthy to pull all of his picks.

“Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republicans, we will not participate,” McCarthy said at the time.

McCarthy again argued that Pelosi would have only picked Republicans that backed her views.

According to McCarthy, those Republicans who voted to impeach Trump such as Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC), and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) would have all been put on the nominee list.

In his opinion, the outcome would remain unfavorable to Trump and his supporters just the same.

“So it would be exactly the same but the American public would sit back and think, ‘Oh, this is very bipartisan,’ even though the rules would not allow us to bring any witnesses in or ask questions,” he told Perino.

McCarthy further affirmed that he had talked recently with Trump about the matter.

In reply to Perino’s questioning about his recent relationship with Trump, McCarthy said, “Oh, all good. Yes.”

McCarthy’s relationship with the former president has allegedly gone sour recently as audio recordings emerged that showed the minority leader disparaged Trump in phone calls after the Capitol breach.

Yet, Trump confirmed in April that their relationship was not damaged.

In early June, Trump further gave his endorsement of McCarthy calling him “an outstanding Representative for the people of California, and a strong and fearless Leader of the House Republican Conference.”

Zachary Stieber contributes to this report.

Hannah Ng

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Hannah Ng is a reporter covering U.S. and China news. She holds a master’s degree in international and development economics from the University of Applied Science Berlin.

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