“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace attempted to pin down House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on phone call he had with former President Donald Trump during the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Wallace asked McCarthy directly — twice — whether the president had said to him, “I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” Both times, McCarthy appeared to glance over the question and move on. (RELATED: Chris Wallace Fact-Checks Pete Buttigieg Over Infrastructure During Live Interview — Twice)
Wallace quoted Republican Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who said during President Trump’s second impeachment trial that she had spoken to McCarthy about a conversation he had with the president during the riot on January 6.
“She said while the January 6th riot was in full force, you phoned President Trump and ask him to call off his supporters and according to you, she said, the president responded, ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election then you are.’ Is she right, is that what President Trump said to you?”
“When I talked to President Trump, I was the first person to contact him when the riots were going on,” McCarthy said, going on to say that Trump had promised to do something to call for an end to the unrest and noting that he had made a video statement to that effect later on.
“Quite a lot later and it was a pretty weak video,” Wallace pushed back, asking again, “But I’m asking you specifically, did he say to you, ‘I guess some people are more concerned about the election than you are’?”
“No, listen, my conversations with the president are my conversations with the president,” McCarthy replied. “I engaged with the idea that we could stop what was going on inside the Capitol at that moment in time, the president said he would help.”
Wallace continued to press McCarthy, asking whether or not he and the former president had discussed that phone call since it was reported.
“Has the president ever reached out to you, since that report came out, to discuss what you and he talked about in the January 6 phone call and did you say to him, ‘I can’t because we are under oath?'” Wallace asked.
“No,” McCarthy said. “Never happened. Never even close.”
“And if it did happen you agree that would be witness tampering?” Wallace asked.
“Yes, but that never happened … Never had any conversation like that,” McCarthy responded. “Never even heard that rumor before until today.”