(WASHINGTON) — House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Friday said he did not “recall” speaking to former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson on Jan. 6 after the former White House official testified about their conversation under oath to the Jan. 6 select committee.
Last month, Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows who was in the West Wing on Jan. 6, testified that McCarthy called her angrily on Jan. 6 after former President Donald Trump told his supporters in a speech to march to the U.S. Capitol.
“He then explained the President just said he’s marching to the Capitol. ‘You told me this whole week you aren’t coming up here. Why would you lie to me?’ I said, ‘I wasn’t lying to you, sir. We’re not going to the Capitol,"” Hutchinson said in her testimony.
She also said McCarthy texted her, “Do you guys think you are coming to my office?”
McCarthy, who has rebuffed the committee’s subpoena for his records and sworn testimony regarding the Capitol riot, said he didn’t remember talking to Hutchinson, and only called White House aides to “find the president.”
“I don’t recall talking to her that day. I recall talking to [Trump aide] Dan Scavino, I recall talking to Jared [Kushner], I recall talking to Trump,” he said Friday.
“If I talked to her, I don’t remember it. If it was coming up here, I don’t think I wanted a lot of people coming up to the Capitol. But I don’t remember the conversation.”
McCarthy said “I don’t remember” being concerned about Trump’s comments at his Jan. 6 rally because he “didn’t watch the speech.”
“I was working, so I didn’t see what was said, I didn’t see what went on until after the fact,” he added.
McCarthy has previously said he spoke to Trump on Jan. 6 and encouraged him to get his supporters out of the Capitol.
He later said Trump “bears responsibility” for the Capitol riot, but quickly moved to mend his relationship with Trump, opposing his second impeachment and visiting with him at his Palm Beach, Florida, club.
In leaked audio of GOP leadership calls first reported by the New York Times, McCarthy suggested to colleagues he would encourage Trump to resign and said, “I’ve had it with this guy.” Asked later about the remarks, McCarthy told reporters he spoke hypothetically.
McCarthy also opposed efforts to set up an independent outside commission to investigate the Capitol attack, after initially deputizing a top Republican to negotiate a bipartisan agreement with Democrats.
Asked Friday about Trump potentially announcing a 2024 election bid ahead of the congressional midterms, McCarthy replied, “The only thing the president and I have talked about is winning in 2022.”
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