House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke to reporters on Thursday, a day after he had announced he would not cooperate with the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
The committee had asked McCarthy to voluntarily provide information about topics including his conversations with then-President Donald Trump before, during and after the Capitol riot. On Thursday, McCarthy again criticized the committee at length — but sometimes did so inaccurately.
Here is a fact check of three of his Thursday claims.
Criticizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for supposedly playing politics with the committee, McCarthy claimed that “Nancy Pelosi decided, for the first time in history by any speaker, to deny the minority to even put their individuals on a committee.”
Facts First: McCarthy’s claim is misleading. Pelosi did reject two of McCarthy’s five proposed committee members, Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, on account of concerns about their “statements made and actions taken” — but she accepted the other three McCarthy picks, and she also gave McCarthy a chance to suggest another two members to replace Jordan and Banks. (Continued)
McCarthy twice on Thursday attempted to distance himself from his past comments about Trump and January 6. He denied and prevaricated; indicated he had no memory of saying what he said. See CNN fact check.His actual words that day a year ago? “”Let me be clear to you, and I have been very clear to the president. He bears responsibility for his words and actions. No if, ands or buts. I asked him personally today if he holds responsibility for what happened, if he feels bad about what happened. He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. But he needs to acknowledge that.”
McCarthy criticized Pelosi for supposedly appointing a “chairman who starts the committee by saying the only person out of bounds is the speaker.”This is misleading. The committee chairman, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, did not say that Pelosi is “the only person out of bounds” from the committee’s inquiry. Rather, in July 2021, Thompson expressed skepticism that Pelosi’s actions were relevant to the committee’s mandate to look into the facts and circumstances around the Capitol attack. Thompson didn’t go so far as to declare that Pelosi was out of bounds from the probe, and he certainly didn’t say she was the single person who was out of bounds. See CNN Fact Check for Thompson’s Actual Words