MSNBC guest Bill Kristol criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Monday for his response to the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol and the subsequent impeachment of former President Donald Trump.
Kristol appeared on “Morning Joe” and listened as host Mika Brzezinski played video clips of what McCarthy said concerning the Jan. 6 attack and the impeachment vote. She then asked Kristol if he could help her understand McCarthy. (RELATED: Adam Schiff: ‘I Have Nothing But Contempt At This Point For Kevin McCarthy’)
“Look, Kevin McCarthy is the Republican party today. He doesn’t really like Trump. To a degree he still has a conscious and principles. He’s disturbed by some of the things Trump did and didn’t do,” Kristol responded. “He is not going to take on the base of his party. It is a big base. I keep reading people saying why won’t the Republicans just throw Trump overboard. I would love it if they did. Politically, they are scared to.”
“McCarthy is, I think, a perfect example of where the party is, unfortunately,” Kristol said. McCarthy voted with 138 other Republican House members to sustain one or both of the objections that were made during the certification of the Electoral College results.
Trump had been been putting pressure on lawmakers over the certification with claims of widespread voter fraud.
Kristol continued, saying that the Senate is a “different body” than the House and that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “has a little bit more perspective.” He then expressed his hope that as more revelations surfaced, the Senate would say “we just can’t let this stand as acceptable practice.”
The Senate impeachment trial is scheduled to begin the week of Feb. 8. Some senators have questioned the constitutionality of holding an impeachment trial after a president has left office. Others have said it’s important to keep Trump from being able to run for office in the future.
“The President of the United States tried to overturn a democratic, free, and fair election. That’s the core of it. The incitement to riot is a major part of it. The failure, the dereliction of duty while the riot was going on, to do anything about it is a very major part of it,” Kristol said. “I think the House impeachment managers know this and they will try to make the broader case to the senators. I don’t think it’s out of the question that some of the senators will decide they don’t want to go down in history looking like Kevin McCarthy.”