- Kevin McCarthy reportedly berated Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler until she cried in a February 2021 meeting.
- “I alone am taking all the heat to protect people from Trump!” McCarthy reportedly yelled at Beutler.
- Both McCarthy and Herrera Beutler have denied the report.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy brought fellow Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington to tears in a tense meeting weeks after the January 6 Capitol riot, according to a new book.
An excerpt from the forthcoming book “Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump” published in the Washington Post on Tuesday offers new details of a February 2021 meeting in which McCarthy — reportedly tense from managing the party’s relationship to former President Donald Trump in the wake of the Capitol riot — unloaded on the congresswoman.
“I alone am taking all the heat to protect people from Trump! I alone am holding the party together!” McCarthy yelled, according to the book. “I have been working with Trump to keep him from going after Republicans like you and blowing up the party and destroying all our work!”
Herrera Beutler was one of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for incitement of an insurrection following the attacks, and was recently defeated in her primary by Trump-backed candidate Joe Kent.
In January 2021, the congresswoman issued a statement confirming the details of a call between McCarthy and Trump during which the then-president told the GOP leader of the rioters, “well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
McCarthy, who had recently traveled down to Mar-a-Lago to reconcile with the former president, was furious about Herrera Beutler’s statement, leading the congresswoman to cry and apologize through tears for speaking about the call.
“You should have come to me!” McCarthy also said. “Why did you go to the press? This is no way to thank me!”
“What did you want me to do? Lie?” she replied. “I did what I thought was right.”
In a rare joint statement issued to book authors Rachael Bade and Karoun Demirjian, both members of Congress denied the account.
“Beyond multiple inaccuracies — it is dramatized to fit an on-screen adaptation, not to serve as a document of record,” they said. “We know it’s wrong because we were the only two in the room for this conversation.”
But Bade and Demirjian stood by their reporting, saying that a person who was in the room at the time verified their reporting, and that multiple other lawmakers heard the account firsthand from the GOP leader.