President Trump doesn’t have very many faults, but one that he does have is a doozy. He does not know how to pick people and he certainly deals too softly with those who fight against him. Case in point. He had a conversation with Kevin McCarthy on Thursday night after the contents of the secret recordings were released. Unless this is another fake story, this reaction by Trump shows he has not learned anything from his time in office.
According to reports, Trump and McCarthy talked last night and that Trump was not upset at McCarthy. McCarthy blamed him for the riot at the Capitol on January 6th and criticized calling the election legitimate and suggesting Republicans who would say differently should be banned from all Big Tech companies. What part of those comments is good? Just how far are we expected to trust this heir apparent to John Boehner and Paul Ryan?
Here is what McCarthy said to Liz Cheney about Trump:
“I think [impeachment resolutions] will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign. What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that and nobody should defend it.”
Cheney then asked him if he thought Trump would resign and McCarthy answered:
“My gut tells me no. I’m seriously thinking of having that conversation with him tonight. Um, from what I know of him, I mean you guys all know him too, do you think he’d ever back away? But what I think I’m going to do, is I’m going to call him.”
WaPo reported (emphasis ours):
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) hold on his status as the presumptive next GOP speaker was already tenuous. And on Thursday it seemed like it could slip further.
But how much?
For now, McCarthy appears to have avoided blowback from the top of the party. Many Republicans seem to be waiting for a cue from Trump about how to respond, though some have weighed in to defend or criticize McCarthy.
And The Post reports he spoke with Trump after the audio of the call was released, and Trump was not upset — indeed, he was even happy that McCarthy hadn’t followed through on what he had said privately.
Trump has been more accommodating of McCarthy than McConnell. They soon patched things up after McCarthy publicly blamed Trump for not quelling the Jan. 6 riot and even floated a historic censure resolution against Trump. McCarthy has also been more solicitous of Trump than McConnell has. And that could matter for the fate of his career.
Recent history is instructive when it comes to those with whom Trump is willing to reconcile.
On the one hand, Trump has been willing to overlook past criticisms — even harsh ones — provided the lawmaker in question proceeds to display the requisite obsequiousness. Trump recently endorsed Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance despite Vance having sharply criticized him in 2016 as unfit to be president.