The book, co-written by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, two New York Times reporters, compiles interviews and records of hundreds of lawmakers and officials, according to the Times, and lays out a timeline where McCarthy and McConnell both lost their respective chutzpah—a great Yiddish word for nerve.
According to the Times, before McCarthy’s spine dissolved, he reportedly suggested that several GOP lawmakers should be banned from social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook following the insurrection.
“We can’t put up with that,” McCarthy reportedly said. “Can’t they take their Twitter accounts away, too?”
Again, Bednar denied to the Times that Rep. McCarthy ever suggested any GOP leaders be banned from social media.
However, we know that McCarthy did publicly say in mid-January 2021 that Trump was at least partially responsible for the riot. “He told me personally that he does have some responsibility. I think a lot of people do.”
McCarthy also blabbed about Trump to House Republicans during a private conference call on Jan. 11. CNN obtained a copy of a transcript of that call.
“Let me be clear to you, and I have been very clear to the President. He bears responsibility for his words and actions. No if, ands, or buts,” McCarthy said. “I asked him personally today if he holds responsibility for what happened. If he feels bad about what happened. He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. But he needs to acknowledge that.”
But four days later, McCarthy conveniently forgot all that he’d said.
According to the Times, McCarthy was told by Rep. Bill Johnson of Ohio that Trump supporters did not want their president challenged on Jan. 6 events.
“I’m just telling you that that’s the kind of thing that we’re dealing with, with our base,” Johnson said.
As a result, by the end of January and after seeing that a scant 10 House Republicans would support a Trump impeachment, McCarthy reversed course and stepped away from any condemnation of HerrTrump. He shut his mouth and kept his job as the House Minority Leader.
As for McConnell, theTimes reports that he initially believed Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 were so heinous that he was convinced his GOP colleagues would surely break with the president. He reportedly even predicted a conviction vote for Trump’s impeachment.
“The Democrats are going to take care of the son of a bitch for us,” he reportedly said during a Jan. 11 meeting with Terry Carmack and Scott Jennings, two of his advisors. “If this isn’t impeachable, I don’t know what is,” he reportedly said.
McConnell was so convincing in his ire against Trump, the Times reports, that Senators John Thune and Rob Portman privately said they believed he’d vote to convict Trump.
But as we all know, McConnell eventually voted to acquit Trump, despite following it with a blistering speech against the president.
Then, he too, shut his mouth to keep his job and the support of a failed, twice-impeached president and his millions of supporters.