MAGA’s Knives Are Out for Kevin McCarthy

Trump says things are fine between the two men. But McCarthy should know better than anyone that politicians lie.

Anna Moneymaker/ZUMA

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It’s no secret that politicians have a shaky relationship with the truth. But few have been caught in such glaring, bald-faced lies as Kevin McCarthy. After the top Republican categorically denied a New York Times report last week that he had planned to demand Donald Trump’s resignation in the immediate aftermath of January 6, an audio recording revealed that he had done exactly that. 

Since then, McCarthy has been begging for Trump’s forgiveness and attempting to convince the GOP he’s still committed to the band. But McCarthy’s standing grew even more tenuous after the Times dropped yet another bombshell recording on Tuesday revealing McCarthy had been seriously concerned that some of the GOP’s far-right characters—namely Matt Gaetz and Mo Brooks—could incite further violence.

For now, it looks like most of the GOP is sticking by McCarthy. Still, he’d be a fool to mistake his closed-door, standing ovation for an indication that the knives aren’t out. “Kevin McCarthy is a puppet of the Dem Party,” read a chron on Tucker Carlson Tonight. “Is THIS the kind of leadership you want to lead the House of Representatives?” Gaetz, the subject of McCarthy’s fears, wrote in a fundraising email this afternoon. “Two-faced Swamp politicians, who smear Trump behind the scenes and defend someone who targets MAGA in unselect committees with Nancy Pelosi?”

As for Trump, the former president told the Wall Street Journal that things are copacetic between him and McCarthy. But how long will that last? Is it even true? McCarthy should know as well as anyone in the game: politicians lie.

This article first appeared in the Mother Jones Daily, our newsletter that cuts through the noise to help you make sense of the most important stories of the day. Sign up for free here!

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