President Donald Trump, still bent on spreading false information on Monday, sought to blame “antifa” for a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week during a call with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Axios reported.
The House Minority Leader, however, after spending months enabling the President’s lies about voter fraud — which ultimately provoked the recent Capitol siege that left five people dead — finally pushed back.
“It’s not Antifa, it’s MAGA,” McCarthy reportedly told Trump during the call, adding: “I know, I was there.”
A White House official told Axios that McCarthy’s effort to pushback on the false claims came during a more than 30-minute conversation with the President.
The report comes after McCarthy issued a statement last week urging his colleagues in Congress to “call on our better angels” while also saying as recently as Monday that he wouldn’t support an effort to impeach the President for inciting the insurrection.
Per Axios, President Trump continued to rant on his Monday call with McCarthy about election fraud, but the top House Republican who on Jan. 6 voted to object to affirming the Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania, finally told Trump it was over.
“Stop it. It’s over. The election is over,” McCarthy reportedly told Trump, sources familiar with the call told the publication.
Separately, the Washington Post reported that on the day of the attack McCarthy had also made repeated efforts to reach the President and pleaded with Jared Kushner, one of the President’s senior advisers, to convince Trump to issue a statement demanding that supporters leave the Capitol.
Trump’s continued effort to spread deceit, by suggesting in the call with McCarthy that “antifa” had incited the riots at the Capitol, directly contradicted the Post’s report of the President’s own pleasure and amazement as he watched his followers raid the Capitol in his name.
One adviser described to the Post a mesmerized Trump “just watching it all unfold,” live on television.
According to the publication’s detailed six-hour breakdown of the events, Trump had been reluctant to call off the insurrection that he incited.
Sources told the Post that Trump had not wanted to include the final instruction via Twitter that urged his supporters to “stay peaceful,” even after video evidence showed they had been all but peaceful as they broke through barricades and raided the building as lawmakers sheltered in place.
A day later, after Trump reviewed press coverage of a video message he released on Thursday calling for “healing and reconciliation,” a senior White House official told the Post that the President expressed regret for posting the reconciliatory message, suggesting it made him look weak.