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Politics & Policy

GOP Congresswoman Urges Pence and White House Aides to Speak Up

On Friday night, CNN reported that when House minority leader Kevin McCarthy pleaded with President Trump to do what he could to stop the January 6 attack on Congress, the president effectively shrugged. “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump said to McCarthy on January 6, according to House Republicans briefed on the call.

Republican congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.) confirmed the account in a statement and urged White House aides and Mike Pence to speak up to share what they know:

“In my January 12 statement in support of the article of impeachment, I referenced a conversation House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy relayed to me that he’d had with President Trump while the January 6 attack was ongoing. Here are the details:

“When McCarthy finally reached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and forcefully call off the riot, the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol. McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said: ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.’

“Since I publicly announced my decision to vote for impeachment, I have shared these details in countless conversations with constituents and colleagues, and multiple times through the media and other public forums.

“I told it to the Daily News of Longview on January 17. I’ve shared it with local county Republican executive board members, as well as other constituents who ask me to explain my vote. I shared it with thousands of residents on my telephone town hall on February 8.

“To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: if you have something to add here, now would be the time.”

On Friday, Trump’s impeachment-trial defense lawyers said that Trump was unaware that Pence was in danger when he expressed his rage toward Pence on Twitter at 2:24p.m. on January 6:

Pence had been evacuated from the Senate about ten minutes before Trump published that tweet, as rioters broke into the Capitol building. Trump was reportedly glued to television coverage of clashes at the Capitol that afternoon.


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