House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy reportedly snapped at Donald Trump during a tense phone call on Monday when the outgoing president tried to blame antifa for the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.
According to Axios, in the waning days of his presidency Donald Trump is digging in on conspiracy theories and trying to deflect blame. But when he tried that on Monday, McCarthy was having none of it.
When he tried to blame antifa, McCarthy snapped. “It’s not antifa, it’s MAGA. I know. I was there,” a White House official and another source familiar with the call told Axios.
The White House official said the call was tense and aggressive at times, with Trump ranting about election fraud and an exasperated McCarthy cutting in to say, ‘Stop it. It’s over. The election is over.’”
The House Minority Leader also told caucus members on a phone call on Monday to stop spreading lies about antifa’s involvement in the deadly Capitol riots.
“McCarthy told all members on the call that he has been receiving FBI briefings and it is clear that antifa was not behind this,” one source familiar with the call said, according to The Hill. “That it was in fact right-wing extremists and QAnon adherents, and he urged members to stop spreading false information to the contrary.”
Since the attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob to halt the certification of electoral college votes last Wednesday, some Republican lawmakers like Florida Congressman Rep. Matt Gaetz and Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks have been claiming that left-wing groups infiltrated the MAGA crowd and they were the ones behind the violence at the Capitol despite the growing number of right wing extremists and QAnon conspiracy theorists arrested in connection to the siege.
The FBI also debunked the claim that there was any involvement by left wing groups.
Asked about any involvement of antifa during the riots, Assistant Director Steven D’Antuono of the agency’s Washington Field Office said: “We have no indication of that at this time.”