President Trump on Monday privately – and falsely – blamed the “Antifa people” for the storming of the Capitol, although there is clear video and documentary evidence showing that the rebels were huge supporters of Trump.
Why it matters: Although facing an impeachment vote for an attack he helped incite, the outgoing president still sticks to his tried-and-true book on evading conspiracy.
Behind the scenes: In a tense 30-minute phone call this morning with Minority House leader Kevin McCarthy, Trump went to the Antifa line.
- McCarthy will have none of this, telling the president, “This is not Antifa, this is MAGA. I know. I was there,”
- A White House spokesman said the call was sometimes tense and aggressive, with Trump outraged by election fraud and an annoyed McCarthy intervened to say, “Stop. It’s over. The election is over.”
McCarthy, who is facing a serious blow for his role in encouraging disagreement with the election results went further:
- He told Trump that he should call Joe Biden, meet with the president-elect and follow tradition, and leave a welcome letter at the Resolution Bureau for his successor.
- The president told him he had not decided whether to do this for Biden.
White House spokesman did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Go deeper: McCarthy: “Undoubtedly” there is no evidence that Antifa was involved in a deadly siege of the Capitol