House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) continued to defend former president Donald Trump’s response to the Jan. 6 insurrection, claiming in an interview Sunday that Trump was unaware the U.S. Capitol was being stormed until McCarthy called and urged him to tell his supporters to stop.
“I was the first person to contact him when the riot was going on,” McCarthy told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace. “He didn’t see it, but he ended the call . . . telling me he’ll put something out to make sure to stop this. And that’s what he did. He put a video out later.”
The statement contradicted McCarthy’s initial response to Trump’s role in the attack and a fellow GOP lawmaker’s recollection of what had been a tense call between McCarthy and Trump. In addition, one Trump adviser told The Washington Post that the then-president had been watching live television coverage of the riot, as multiple people were trying to reach Trump and his aides to beg for help.