House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was reportedly caught on a hot mic Tuesday fuming over Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and announcing that he’s “had it” with the number three Republican, whose critique of former President Donald Trump has stood in the way of advancing the alternate reality his party is pushing.
“I think she’s got real problems,” McCarthy reportedly told Fox News’ Steve Doocy ahead of a “Fox and Friends” interview on Tuesday, according to a copy of off-air tape from the morning interview that Axios snagged.
“I’ve had it with … I’ve had it with her. You know, I’ve lost confidence. … Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place,” he reportedly added.
The off-air frankness came as McCarthy publicly put forward a drastically pared down version of his posture when asked about the conference chair during the interview.
Rather than openly assume the position he had espoused moments earlier, or defend Cheney, McCarthy largely aired grievances about her, pinning his criticisms to what he claims he has heard from other members.
“I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message,” McCarthy said during one portion of the interview.
The bulk of the GOP’s message certainly has been at odds with Cheney’s, as the Party largely shrugs off pursuing any real accountability for former President Trump and his congressional allies who promoted conspiracy theories about a stolen election.
“We all need to be working as one if we’re able to win the majority,” he added during the interview.
In a fairly ungraceful attempt to separate calls for Cheney’s ouster from her efforts to hold Trump accountable, McCarthy also said that talk of her removal was unrelated to her impeachment vote and was instead part of a broader aim to get members of the party to work together.
“I haven’t heard members concerned about her vote on impeachment,” McCarthy said, suggesting that concern more stemmed from “what’s our best step forward that we can all work together instead of attacking one another.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki also weighed in on the internal controversy among House GOP leadership during a White House briefing on Tuesday.
“The Republican Party seems to be spending a lot of blood, sweat and tears trying to figure out where they stand and what they stand for,” she said.