'Take Care of the Son of a Bitch': Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell Talked Tough About Trump After Jan. 6 … Then Cowered

A New York Times report published Thursday offers new details of a familiar storyline: Republicans who privately criticized Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection ultimately shying away from a public confrontation for fear of riling up or alienating his supporters.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who reportedly pushed Trump to call off the attack on the Capitol as it was happening, told Republicans that he planned to tell Trump to resign in the days following last Jan. 6, according to the new book This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future. “I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign,” McCarthy told colleagues he’d tell the president.

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McCarthy’s comments came in the days following the attack, including on Jan. 10, as Congress debated impeaching Trump a second time. McCarthy also reportedly told Republicans that Trump “inciting people” to riot days earlier was “atrocious and totally wrong,” and that “nobody can defend that and nobody should defend it.”

McCarthy wasn’t the only Republican leader who wanted Trump out of office. “The Democrats are going to take care of the son of a bitch for us,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly told two advisers on Jan. 11, referring to the upcoming impeachment vote in the House. McConnell also allegedly told them he expected the Senate to convict Trump. “If this isn’t impeachable, I don’t know what is,” he said.

It was all talk, though.

McCarthy never told Trump to resign, and his spokesperson, Mark Bednar, told the Times that “he never said he’d call Trump to say he should resign.” He quickly softened his stance on the attack, and even posed for a picture with Trump at Mar-a-Lago later the same month. He’s since done what he can to stonewall the work of the Jan. 6 committee.

McConnell, after saying, “If this isn’t impeachable, I don’t know what is,” ultimately voted against impeaching Trump for inciting the attack. Jonathan Swan of Axios recently pressed McConnell about continuing to support Trump despite comments he made in the wake of Jan. 6. McConnell made clear that as the party goes, so too will he go, even if it means supporting someone he thinks is a danger to democracy.

Trump, meanwhile, has bashed McConnell incessantly.

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