House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy planned on telling Trump to resign after Jan. 6 but walked it back, according to book

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy planned on telling Trump to resign after Jan. 6 but walked it back, according to book
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at the annual Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the US Capitol on December 01, 2021.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy was privately willing to get rid of Trump, per The New York Times.
  • McCarthy reportedly planned on asking the former president to resign after January 6.

Despite publicly remaining loyal to former President Donald Trump in the year following the January 6 insurrection, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was privately ready to ask him to resign, according to The New York Times.

"I've had it with this guy," McCarthy told Republican leaders shortly after the Capitol siege, the Times reported Thursday.

McCarthy also explored removing Trump through the 25th Amendment, according to the report, but later decided it would be impractical. Trump had less than a month left in office at the time.

Sharing reporting from their forthcoming book "This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America's Future," Times reporters Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin's account is based on hundreds of interviews with lawmakers and public officials.

McCarthy spokesperson Mark Bednar denied that the House GOP leader called on Trump to resign.


"McCarthy never said he'd call Trump to say he should resign," Bednar told the Times.

Later on Thursday morning, McCarthy released his own statement praising Trump and denying the reporting by Burns and Martin.

In a January 10 meeting with GOP leadership, McCarthy said the party should take advantage of House Democrats' efforts to impeach Trump for a second time, according to Burns and Martin.

"What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that and nobody should defend it," McCarthy said at the meeting, according to the Times.

He then explained how he would deliver the news to Trump.


"I think this will pass," McCarthy said of the impeachment resolution, "and it would be my recommendation you should resign."

The resignation conversation ultimately never happened, according to the Times, after other Republican lawmakers warned McCarthy of backlash from Trump's supporters.

Republican Rep. Bill Johnson of Ohio told McCarthy that voters in his district would "go ballistic" if the leader criticized Trump, much less told him to resign.

"I'm just telling you that that's the kind of thing that we're dealing with, with our base," Johnson told McCarthy, according to the Times.

McCarthy was not one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump following the Capitol riot, but Trump still reportedly harbored resentment toward him for suggesting censure, an entirely ceremonial punishment.