House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Thursday denied that he, in fact, voted to overturn the election results as he failed to take responsibility for egging on former President Trump’s incitement of the mob behind the deadly insurrection of the Capitol earlier this month.
During a press conference, McCarthy issued defensive remarks when asked whether he regrets his role in sowing doubt over the election process. McCarthy voted to overturn the results in Pennsylvania and Arizona hours after the Capitol riots. Before that, he signed onto the Texas attorney general’s lawsuit seeking to invalidate Biden’s legitimate victory.
After insisting that he’s been “very consistent” in roundly denouncing violence, McCarthy offered an alternate reality by baselessly arguing that his votes to overturn the election results in battleground states on the day that the joint session of Congress was set to ratify President Biden’s electoral victory were … not votes to overturn the election. (They were.)
“What I voted on wasn’t to overturn an election — because it wouldn’t,” McCarthy said. “It would not overturn.”
McCarthy went on deflect blame by griping about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC), before once again promoting himself as an advocate for peace and comity.
“I’ve always denounced whatever individuals did here, what they did during the summer, what they did last night — it’s un-American, it’s undemocratic, and anybody involved in that should be prosecuted,” McCarthy said. “I’ve been very clear about that from day one.”
Pressed on why he couldn’t just simply say that the election was free and fair, McCarthy dodged the question.
McCarthy also reaffirmed his role as Trump’s foot soldier during the press conference on Thursday by contradicting his condemnation of the former president in the aftermath of the Capitol riots. During a speech ahead of the House voting to impeach Trump for the second time for “incitement of insurrection,” McCarthy said that Trump “bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.”
His sentiment seems to have dissolved since then.
“I don’t believe he provoked if you listen to what he said at the rally,” McCarthy said on Thursday.
Watch McCarthy’s remarks below:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) falsely claims he did not vote to overturn the election pic.twitter.com/82Z2DnH4rF
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) January 21, 2021