House Republicans Cheer McCarthy at Meeting, Dismiss Jan. 6-Related Audio House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy answers questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
By Jay Clemons | Wednesday, 27 April 2022 04:05 PM
Embattled House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., received a standing ovation at Wednesday's House GOP conference meeting, according to a report from The Hill.
The GOP ovation comes on the heels of The New York Times touting a series of leaked audio recordings — apparently taped in the aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021 unrest at the Capitol — of McCarthy discussing former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.
McCarthy's celebrated entrance on Wednesday might have been an indicator of his popularity moving forward, in terms of becoming House Majority Leader next January, if the Republicans overtake the House chamber during the November midterm elections.
The Republicans need a net positive of +5 seats to claim the majority in the House chamber, and just a net of +1 seat to control the Senate.
On Wednesday, McCarthy reportedly told members the leaked quotes from the Jan. 10, 2021, leadership call — in which he apparently wanted President Trump to resign before leaving office in January 2021, if impeached — were simply the various GOP leaders exploring different scenarios.
"He [McCarthy] just said that we were going to lay out different things of what could be," said Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala. "At this point, you know, I take his word for it."
Other congressional Republicans were quick to accept McCarthy back into the fold.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., reportedly told the group, "This is a distraction, folks. Come on. This is simply a distraction by the left trying to drive a wedge in a very unified Republican Party and a very unified conference."
And Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., simply chose not to listen to the audio recordings.
"Unless you're a member of the press, nobody gives a damn about Jan. 6," said Grothman.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., had a different spin at Wednesday's meeting, reportedly requesting that McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., apologize for previously leaked comments about Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.
"We all need to be accountable for our words. I've had to do that before. And that we need to apologize when we say something wrong," said Greene, according to The Hill.