Lindsey Graham told Trump that the House of Representatives is ‘just a constant shit show’: book

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi swears in new members of congress during the first session of the 117th Congress in the House Chamber at the US Capitol on January 03, 2021 in Washington, DC.
  • Sen. Graham told former President Trump that the House was “just a constant shit show.”
  • Graham remarked on the various factions within the GOP that can cause trouble for leadership.
  • Republicans want to regain control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections.
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Lindsey Graham has been in the Senate for over 18 years, gaining seniority and a national profile along the way, but he truly cut his teeth as a federal lawmaker when he served in the House from 1995 to 2003.

While the House offers powerful advantages to the majority party – even when the party has nominal control – the Senate, designed to be a more deliberative body, requires much more consensus to pass sweeping bills.

In the House, it is not uncommon for the Republican Study Committee, consisting of the most conservative members, or the the Progressive Caucus, which boasts some of the most liberal members, to demand major concessions from leaders in order to pass critical legislation.

The South Carolina Republican understands the rough-and-tumble nature of the House all too well, having served as an impeachment manager during President Bill Clinton’s Senate trial in 1999. During a June conversation with former President Donald Trump, he emphasized the importance of the GOP taking back control of Congress in 2022, according to a new book by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.

Insider obtained an early copy of “Peril,” where at one point Graham tells the former president that if he can campaign effectively for Republican candidates and put the party over the top in Congressional races, then it would bode well for him as he looks at the 2024 presidential election.

“If we come back in 2022 and recapture the House and take back the Senate, you’ll get your fair share of credit,” the senator said, according to the book, adding: “If we don’t win in 2022, we’re screwed.”

In the House, Democrats hold a 220-212 edge over Republicans – 218 seats are needed to control the 435-seat chamber – and the GOP is within striking distance of a potential majority.

However, Graham knows how difficult it can be to keep individual groups within a caucus unified, especially for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who has limited tools to stop Democrats from passing legislation in the House.

Graham articulated just as much to Trump.

“You’ve got the Republican Study Groups. You’ve got the moderates. The House is just a constant shit show,” he said.

Graham went on to point out a raft of issues, from migration at the US-Mexico border to inflation, that he felt could be used to attack President Joe Biden in the midterm elections in advance of 2024.

“If you, as the party leader, could lead us to a 2022 victory and you came back to take the White House, it would be the biggest comeback in American history,” the senator professed, according to the book.

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Trump said GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy ‘pretended to be my best friend, and then, he fucked me’: book

Trump McCarthy
Former President Donald Trump and House GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy step off Air Force One on May 30, 2020 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

  • Trump remains angry with McCarthy after the GOP leader said Trump bore some responsibility for Jan 6.
  • “This guy called me every single day, pretended to be my best friend, and then, he fucked me,” Trump said.
  • “Kevin came down to kiss my ass and wants my help to win the House back,” Trump also said.
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According to a yet-to-be released book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, former President Donald Trump has continued to seethe with anger towards Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California after McCarthy blamed Trump for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“This guy called me every single day, pretended to be my best friend, and then, he fucked me,” Trump said, according to a new preview of the book by CNN. “He’s not a good guy.”

In the week following the Capitol attack, McCarthy endorsed a resolution to censure the former president while saying Trump “bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack by mob rioters”

“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 president of the US in one week because he won the election,” McCarthy said at the time.

In a phone call between the two on the day of the riot, McCarthy pleaded with Trump to call off the mob, only for Trump to rebuke him. “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump said.

Despite McCarthy’s later attempts to repair his relationship with the former President – including a trip to Mar-a-Lago to visit Trump in late January – Trump reportedly continues to hold McCarthy in low esteem.

“Kevin came down to kiss my ass and wants my help to win the House back,” said Trump, according to the book.

CNN reported that Trump also remains angry with other Republicans who blamed Trump for the riot.

In the months since the insurrection, McCarthy has walked back from his initial position. The GOP leader booted Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming from her position as the House GOP Caucus chair after she continued to stress Trump’s role in imperiling democracy, and he has refused to cooperate with a new house select committee investigating the attacks.

In late August, McCarthy warned telecom companies not to comply with a request issued by the select committee, which included the records of “individuals potentially involved in discussions” about challenging and delaying Congress from affirming President Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.

“If the companies choose to violate federal law, a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law,” said McCarthy in a statement, while not specifying what law the companies would be breaking.

Woodward and Costa’s book, “Peril,” focuses on the final weeks of Trump’s presidency and is set to be released on September 21.

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Kevin McCarthy is helping House lawmakers facing Trump-backed primary challenges, putting him on a 2022 collision course with the former president

Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California speaks at the Capitol on July 21, 2021.

  • A Kevin McCarthy-linked PAC is helping shore up GOP members who impeached Trump, CNN reports.
  • The PAC has raised funds for five out of the 10 Republicans who voted for impeachment.
  • The effort could put McCarthy in an awkward situation and a potential 2022 collision course with Trump.
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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is working to shore up five of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump with his joint fundraising committee, CNN reported, activity that threatens to put him on a 2022 collision course with the former president.

Take Back the House 2022 has given around $100,000 this year to Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington and Fred Upton of Michigan, both of whom have primary challengers endorsed by Trump, in addition to Rep. John Katko of New York, Rep. David Valadao of California, and Rep. Peter Meijer, also of Michigan, CNN reported citing campaign finance filings.

Perhaps not unsurprisingly, the committee has not helped fundraise for Reps. Liz Cheney or Adam Kinzinger, the two most vocally anti-Trump members of the House GOP caucus.

Cheney was booted out of her position as GOP conference chair after Trump’s impeachment, and both members are now the only two Republicans serving on the House Select Committee investigating January 6 – and were appointed to it by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Trump officially endorsed a primary challenger to Cheney, Harriet Hageman, in Wyoming’s at-large congressional on Thursday, hoping to clear the field enough to create a head-to-head contest between Hageman and Cheney, who was first elected to the seat in 2016 by winning her primary with a plurality of just under 40% of the vote.

Kinzinger also faces a primary challenger from Catalina Lauf, who ran in and lost the GOP primary to challenge Democratic Rep. Lauren Underwood in a different Illinois district in 2020. But Kinzinger’s central Illinois congressional district could be eliminated altogether or significantly changed in post-2020 redistricting in the state, which will lose one House seat due to slowing population growth.

Take Back the House 2022 has also not yet raised funds for three other members who voted to impeach Trump. They are Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, who is facing a primary challenge from former Trump staffer Max Miller, Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington, and Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina, who also voted to impeach Trump, CNN reported.

Trump getting actively involved in House primaries threatens to put McCarthy in an awkward position both in terms of his relationship with the former president, the de facto leader of the GOP, and his prospects for becoming House speaker if Republicans retake the chamber in 2022.

Joe Kent, the Trump-endorsed primary challenger to Herrera Beutler, for example, told CNN that he would “absolutely not” support McCarthy for speaker.

Before this year, it was almost unheard of for former presidents to back primary challengers to members of their own party, and could also lead to some headaches for the National Republican Campaign Committee, the House GOP campaign arm, which traditionally stays out of primaries.

Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the committee’s chair, publicly warned Trump against interfering in House GOP primaries back in March.

“He can do whatever he wants,” Emmer told Politico. “But I would tell him that it’s probably better for us that we keep these people and we make sure that we have a majority that can be sustained going forward.”

And while Trump did not heed his guidance, CNN reported that House GOP leaders are still trying to hold off Trump from endorsing primary challenges to Katko and Valadao specifically. Both represent competitive swing districts carried by President Joe Biden in 2020, a year with a record low number of “crossover” districts that backed members of different parties for president and Congress.

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Jan. 6 committee leaders Thompson, Cheney blast Kevin McCarthy’s claims that Trump had ‘no involvement’ in the riot as ‘baseless’

Bennie Thompson Liz Cheney
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), left, listens as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) speaks during the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack in Washington, DC, on July 27, 2021. Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone is at center.

  • Panel leaders criticized Kevin McCarthy for his claims about Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.
  • Reps. Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney responded to a recent McCarthy interview conduced by KGET-TV.
  • The leaders pointed out that McCarthy’s initial statements about Trump and Jan. 6 have shifted,..
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Leaders of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on Saturday criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for spreading “baseless” claims about former President Donald Trump’s involvement in the deadly insurrection.

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the committee chairman, and GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the vice chairwoman, released a joint statement in response to a recent interview that the California Republican conducted with the Bakersfield-anchored NBC affiliate KGET-TV.

During the interview, McCarthy suggested that the FBI and Senate agencies looked into Trump’s link to the insurrection and came to the conclusion that the former president was not involved in the mayhem.

“Well, you know what’s interesting about that? … The FBI has investigated this,” McCarthy said. “The Senate had bipartisan committees. And you know what they found? That there is no involvement.”

Read more: These are the 13 best crisis experts politicians call to manage scandals and crush bad press reports

Thompson and Cheney said that McCarthy made the claim based on an anonymous report which suggested that the Department of Justice “concluded that Donald Trump did not cause, incite, or provoke” the riot.

“Minority Leader McCarthy … has suggested, based on an anonymous report, that the Department of Justice has concluded that Donald Trump did not cause, incite, or provoke the violence on January 6th,” the statement read. “When this anonymous report was first published, the Select Committee queried the Executive Branch agencies and congressional committees involved in the investigation. We’ve received answers and briefings from the relevant entities, and it’s been made clear to us that reports of such a conclusion are baseless.”

They added: “We will continue to pursue all elements of this investigation in a nonpartisan and thorough manner. We also remind Minority Leader McCarthy of his statements following January 6th, including his statement from the House Floor on January 13th – which are inconsistent with his recent comments.”

The two leaders were pointing out a speech that McCarthy gave in January as the House was voting to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” and the GOP House leader expressed that “the president bears responsibility” for the siege.

On Jan. 21, McCarthy backtracked and said that Trump did not initiate the insurrection.

“I don’t believe he provoked it if you listen to what he said at the rally,” McCarthy said at the time.

During an interview that aired on Jan. 24, the GOP leader went on to say that “everybody across this country has some responsibility” for the attack.

“Think about four years ago after President Trump was sworn in. What happened the very next day? The title was ‘resist’ with people walking in the streets,” he said in the interview with Gray Television’s Greta Van Susteren.

McCarthy, who has sought to diminish the legitimacy of the Jan. 6 committee by slamming it as a partisan affair, despite the presence of Cheney and GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on the panel, is aiming for the House speakership in 2022 and has muted any of his past criticism of Trump regarding Jan. 6.

The minority leader last week warned telecommunications companies not to adhere to Jan. 6 committee requests for the phone records of Trump family members and select lawmakers, stating that a “Republican majority will not forget” who complied.

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Kevin McCarthy claims ‘the debt and China’ are the ‘greatest threats’ to the US after Trump oversaw a $7.8 trillion national debt increase

Donald Trump Kevin McCarthy
President Donald Trump speaks as he joined by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy in the Rose Garden of the White House on January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC.

  • House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said the debt is one of the two biggest threats to the US.
  • But under former President Donald Trump, the GOP largely shed its fiscal conservatism.
  • McCarthy pushed the GOP’s 2017 tax cuts, which are expected to add almost $2 trillion to the debt.
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House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy argued during a foreign policy panel on Thursday that the national debt is one of the two biggest threats facing the US, despite his role in dramatically expanding the debt.

Under former President Donald Trump, the GOP largely shed its fiscal conservatism and supported a slew of policies that increased the debt. During Trump’s single term in office, he oversaw the third-largest increase in the deficit, relative to the size of the economy, of any presidential administration.

“Our greatest threats going forward is the debt and China,” McCarthy said on Thursday.

McCarthy was central to the GOP’s efforts to pass the 2017 tax cuts, which favored wealthy Americans and corporations and are expected to add almost $2 trillion to the debt over 10 years.

A spokesperson for McCarthy didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Between January 2017 and January 2021, the debt grew by nearly $7.8 trillion, rising to its highest level relative to GDP since World War II. A big chunk of that debt was created by $3 trillion in emergency spending on COVID-19 relief, but the debt had already skyrocketed before the pandemic hit last year.

In 2019, McCarthy said if his party won control of the House, their top priority would be to “make sure our debt is taken care of.” Now, congressional Republicans say they’ll oppose a debt limit increase, which would allow the federal government to borrow more money to cover its spending commitments.

While many Democrats have for years rejected conservative concerns about deficit spending, President Joe Biden has claimed the trillions he’s spending on COVID relief — and likely on infrastructure and caregiving — will be paid for by way of tax increases on the wealthy.

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2 members of Congress who went to Kabul amid the Taliban takeover faced bipartisan backlash over the surprise visit

seth.moulton
Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democrat from Massachusetts, recently invested six figures in a Finnish tech company that makes rings that track biological and wellness information.

  • Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle denounced a “secret” Kabul trip by two members of Congress.
  • Reps. Seth Moulton and Peter Meijer traveled to Afghanistan to push President Biden to extend the Aug. 31 evacuation deadline.
  • But several US officials and lawmakers criticized them for the informational trip, citing the potential risks.
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Two members of Congress who went to Kabul after the Taliban takeover faced bipartisan criticism over their “secret” informational trip.

Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Rep. Peter Meijer, a Republican from Michigan, chartered a direct flight to Afghanistan in an effort to push President Joe Biden to extend the August 31 deadline to evacuate Americans and others who helped the US.

“We conducted this trip in secret, speaking about it only after our departure, to minimize the risk and disruption to people on the ground, and because we were there to gather information, not grandstand,” the lawmakers, who are both veterans, said in a statement Tuesday.

“Washington should be ashamed of the position we put our service members in, but they represent the best in America,” they added.

In the statement, Moulton and Meijer said, “after talking with commanders on the ground and seeing the situation” in Kabul, he believes that it likely won’t be feasible to complete evacuations by the deadline set by the White House.

“Sadly and frustratingly, getting our people out depends on maintaining the current, bizarre relationship with the Taliban,” the lawmakers said.

Moulton and Meijer’s trip drew backlash from both sides of the aisle on Wednesday, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“This is deadly serious,” Pelosi said. “There’s a real concern about members being in the region.”

In a letter sent Tuesday night, Pelosi asked lawmakers not to travel to Afghanistan and warned them that such trips could “unnecessarily divert needed resources from the priority mission of safely and expeditiously evacuating Americans and Afghans at risk from Afghanistan.”

Read more: Meet Rep. Peter Meijer, the 33-year-old Republican who voted to impeach Trump comes from a family of Michigan supermarket billionaires, and he’s legislating with a ‘YOLO’ mindset

House GOP leader McCarthy also said he understands the initiative of the two lawmakers but believes the trip could have “put people in jeopardy.”

“I explained to them that I don’t think they should,” he said during a press conference. “I think it creates a greater risk. You’ve got enough Americans over there that could be held hostage. They’d make a point out of a member of Congress. I think you take military away from doing their job of getting as many Americans out we can.”

Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat from Colorado who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, told MSNBC on Wednesday that he thought the trip was “a pretty irresponsible thing for these two members to do.”

“The bottom line is we are just trying to secure our troops and soldiers, we’re trying to get as many people out as possible, and the only thing that I thought about when I heard this is how many Afghan women and children were not able to be evacuated yesterday because they had to pull Marines off the line or out of rest to provide security for VIPs?” Crow said. “It shouldn’t have happened.”

GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher told Fox News that he thought the trip was a “publicity stunt.”

“As for members going to Afghanistan on their own, I think it’s a bad idea,” he said. “I think it’s a publicity stunt, and I think it actually is counterproductive to the effort as getting as many people out as possible.”

Rep. Sara Jacobs, a California Democrat serving on the House Armed Services Committee, also denounced the trip on Twitter.

“Whether it is Haiti or Afghanistan, taking up space in a disaster zone for your own ego helps no one,” she tweeted.

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Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defends Reps. Moulton and Meijer over unauthorized trip to Afghanistan: ‘I understand their frustration’

Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California speaks at the Capitol on July 21, 2021.

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said it was a bad idea for congressmembers go to Afghanistan.
  • But he defended Reps. Meijer and Moulton for making the trip, saying “I understand their frustration.”
  • “They’re both veterans, they’re both frustrated,” McCarthy said.
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Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended Reps. Republican Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan and Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts after they took an unauthorized trip to Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday.

Asked about the congressmen’s trip during a Wednesday press conference, McCarthy did say that members of congress should not travel to Afghanistan right now. But he also took the opportunity to echo the duo’s frustrations with the evacuation effort.

“They’re both veterans, they’re both frustrated, they have an administration that won’t tell them the answers to how many Americans are left,” said McCarthy. “So yes, it’s not the best idea to go there, but I understand their frustration.”

“They realize it’s life and death. So yes, they made a decision to try to do something on their own,” McCarthy added.

McCarthy said he is discouraging members of his own caucus from going. “I think it creates a greater risk,” he said. “You’ve got enough Americans over there that are being held hostage, they’d make a point out of a member of Congress.”

McCarthy further defended Meijer, a Republican, towards the end of the press conference. “I talked to Peter Meijer a couple different times. I’ll show you– the text that he sent me was working to get people out,” he said. He later clarified that he did not speak to Meijer during the trip and was not aware of it ahead of time.

McCarthy declined to say whether Meijer would face any disciplinary actions for taking the unauthorized trip.

In contrast, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been firm in her criticism of the two congressmen.

“It was not, in my view, a good idea,” Pelosi said at her Wednesday morning press conference. Pelosi on Tuesday night circulated a letter among her colleagues discouraging further travel to the region.

On Tuesday morning, Reps. Meijer and Moulton made an unauthorized trip to the Kabul airport amid the US evacuation effort. They “figured out a way onto an empty military flight going into Kabul,” according to The Washington Post.

“It’s as moronic as it is selfish,” a senior administration official told The Post anonymously. “They’re taking seats away from Americans and at-risk Afghans – while putting our diplomats and service members at greater risk – so they can have a moment in front of the cameras.

In a joint press release, the congressmen said they went to Kabul to “provide oversight” on the evacuation effort and claimed that they sat in “crew-only” seats to ensure they didn’t take the spot of any evacuees.

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Pelosi’s office rips into Republicans for ‘terrorizing’ Capitol police after Trump called officer a ‘murderer’

Donald Trump Kevin McCarthy
President Donald Trump speaks as he joined by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy in the Rose Garden of the White House on January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC.

  • Pelosi’s office excoriated Trump and Republicans for maligning Capitol police officers.
  • This came after Trump called a Capitol Police officer a “murderer.”
  • Republicans have sought to whitewash the deadly January 6 Capitol attack, which Trump provoked.
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A spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday excoriated Republicans after former President Donald Trump called a Capitol police officer a “murderer” as he continued to whitewash the deadly January 6 insurrection that he incited.

“The former President’s threat against a US Capitol Police officer is only the latest in a long line of vile Republican attacks on the officers who risked their lives to protect the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. In recent weeks, Republicans have slandered these officers as ‘executioners’ and ‘murderers’ and insulted their intelligence and integrity on national television,” spokesperson Robyn Patterson said in a statement.

“Enough is enough,” Patterson said.

“Officers present that day who have called out the partisan efforts to downplay a violent insurrection have been subjected to death threats and racist abuse. No member of House Republican leadership has bothered to condemn this harassment or speak out in support of these officers,” Patterson went on to say.

Pelosi’s spokesperson said GOP efforts to malign Capitol Police officers “are disgusting, wrong and a wholly unacceptable way” to treat the officers “who went through hell to protect our democracy from armed insurrectionists.”

Patterson said it’s “long overdue” for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to “get off of his hands and stand up to the members of his conference and party who have been terrorizing the brave officers that saved the lives of countless workers, staff, journalists and Members on January 6th. It is no less than these heroes deserve.”

McCarthy’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

In a statement on Wednesday, Trump went after the officer who killed insurrectionist Ashli Babbitt while defending the Capitol.

“I spoke to the wonderful mother and husband of Ashli Babbitt, who was murdered at the hands of someone who should have never pulled the trigger of his gun,” Trump said. “We know who he is. If this happened to the ‘other side,’ there would be riots all over America, and yet there are far more people represented by Ashli, who truly loved America, than there are on the other side.”

Trump added, “The Radical Left haters cannot be allowed to get away with this. There must be justice!”

Beyond Trump, a number of House Republicans have sought to discredit Capitol police and other law enforcement in relation to January 6 as the party vies to rewrite the history of the fatal attack.

The insurrection was provoked by Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, which were amplified by Republican lawmakers – with many voting against certifying the Electoral College results on the day of the riot. GOP Rep. Paul Gosar, for example, has said that Babbitt was “executed.” Babbitt was involved in the storming of the Capitol, during which insurrectionists mercilessly beat police, and was shot while attempting to break into the Speaker’s Lobby.

During testimony before the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, four police officers shared harrowing details of the violence they faced during the insurrection. The officers ripped into Republicans for downplaying the attack.

“The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful,” DC Police Officer Michael Fanone said. “Nothing, truly nothing, has prepared me to address those elected members of our government who continue to deny the events of that day. And in doing so, betray their oath of office.”

Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died following the insurrection. Hundreds have also been charged with crimes in relation to January 6. Trump was impeached for a second time over the insurrection, but acquitted in the Senate.

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Rep. Adam Kinzinger: ‘I would expect to see a significant number of subpoenas’ in Jan. 6 House investigation

Kinzinger
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) answers a question from the media next to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) with Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-California) at center, after the first hearing of the House Select committee to investigate the January 6 riot.

  • Kinzinger would back issuing subpoenas to compel individuals to testify before the Jan. 6 panel.
  • “I would expect to see a significant number of subpoenas for a lot of people,” he said on Sunday.
  • The congressman said that Trump may not be called to testify, expressing that testimony from individuals in his orbit may suffice.
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Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Sunday signaled that he would support using subpoenas “for a lot of people” to bring them to testify in front of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

During an interview on ABC’s “This Week” with co-anchor Jonathan Karl, the Illinois Republican said he was committed to conducting an exhaustive probe.

“I think this is … the shot we have as a country to get answers to what led up to it, what really happened and what happened in the aftermath,” he said. “I would expect to see a significant number of subpoenas for a lot of people. But I think the bigger thing is just what is the message that’s going to come out this, is that the American people deserve the truth.”

He added: “It’s going to be a thorough investigation, that’s for sure.”

Last week, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Kinzinger to the committee, joining Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming as the only other Republican on the panel.

Kinzinger and Cheney were among 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in January for “incitement of insurrection” over his role in the riot.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy initially picked a slate of Republicans for the committee, which included Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio, but after Pelosi rejected the two congressmen, the California Republican pulled every Republican member from the committee.

During the interview, Kinzinger wouldn’t say who the committee might subpoena, only pledging to search for answers.

Read more: Where is Trump’s White House staff now? We created a searchable database of more than 327 top staffers to show where they all landed

“We want to do this expeditiously,” he said. “We don’t want to drag this out. … What led up to it, what really happened and what happened in the aftermath.”

When asked if Republicans like McCarthy or Jordan might be subpoenaed due to their conversations with Trump on Jan. 6, Kinzinger simply committed to finding out what happened on that day.

“I would support subpoenas to anybody that can shed light on that,” he said. “If that’s the leader that’s the leader. If it’s anybody that talked to the president that can provide us that information, I want to know what the president was doing every moment of that day.”

He added: “I want to know if the National Guard took five or six hours to get to Capitol Hill. Did the president make calls? If he didn’t, why?”

Kinzinger said that those interested in the truth should support the committee’s impending work.

“If anybody is scared of this investigation, I ask you, what are you afraid of? If you think it wasn’t a big deal, you should allow this to go forward,” he said.

When asked if the panel might subpoena Trump, the congressman was noncommittal.

“We may not have to talk to Donald Trump. … If he has unique information, that’s one thing. But I think there’s a lot of people around him that knew some things,” he said.

Kinzinger also criticized statements made last week by Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, who replaced Cheney as House Republican Conference Chair, where the congresswoman blamed Pelosi for the attack.

“To me it’s mind-blowing and shows the desperation to derail this,” he said. “The speaker and I don’t get along on a lot of things. On this, we do. … Blaming what happened on Jan. 6 on the security posture, that’s like blaming someone for being a victim of crime. It’s insane.”

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Kevin McCarthy reportedly joked about hitting Nancy Pelosi with a speaker’s gavel during a GOP fundraising dinner

Pelosi holds gavel next to Kevin McCarthy
peaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) smiles after receiving the gavel from Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R) (R-CA) following her election as the next Speaker of the House during the first session of the 116th Congress at the U.S. Capitol January 03, 2019 in Washington, DC

  • Kevin McCarthy joked about casual violence against Nancy Pelosi during a fundraiser, reporters at the event said.
  • He reportedly said that, as House speaker, he’d find it “hard” not to hit her with the gavel.
  • McCarthy was speaking to around 1,400 GOP donors at a fundraising event in Tennessee.
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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy joked about casual violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a glitzy fundraising dinner in Tennessee on Saturday night, according to several reporters who were at the event.

During a speech to around 1,400 GOP donors, McCarthy reportedly spoke optimistically about the Republicans’ chances for retaking the majority in the House following the 2022 midterm elections.

McCarthy went on to say that, should the GOP manage to flip the House in 2022 and if he were to become the speaker, he would find it difficult to resist hitting Pelosi with the speaker’s gavel, The Washington Post’s Michael Scherer said on Twitter.

“It will be hard not to hit her with it but I will bang it down,” McCarthy joked, according to Scherer.

Read more: The GOP is failing to make a villain out of Biden and has run out of ideas – so now they’re getting desperate and turning on their own.

The comments were met with criticism on social media, with Politico CA Playbook writer Carla Marinucci calling it “sickening.”

During the fundraiser, McCarthy was also presented with a comically large gavel by the Tennessee congressional delegation. It was labeled with “Fire Pelosi,” according to Tennessean reporter Yue Stella Yu.

Insider reached out to McCarthy’s team for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

McCarthy has long sought to become the next Republican House Speaker, Insider’s John L. Dorman reported in May. But he faces skepticism among some caucus members and GOP observers, Dornan wrote.

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