Adam Kinzinger told CNN on Friday he found GOP leader Kevin McCarthy to be untrustworthy.
After McCarthy contradicted statements from Cassidy Hutchinson, Kinzinger questioned the GOP leader.
Kinzinger said that McCarthy will “do whatever he has to do” to become House speaker next year.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Friday blasted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy after the California Republican said last week that he couldn’t “recall” speaking with ex-White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson on January 6, 2021.
Hutchinson, who last month testified under oath while speaking with the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, said that she spoke to McCarthy on the phone on January 6 as the election fraud rally at the Ellipse headlined by then-President Donald Trump was coming to a close; she said McCarthy was upset when Trump initially stated he would join rally attendees as they marched to the Capitol to protest the certification of now-President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.
On Friday, McCarthy told CNN’s Manu Raju that he “was busy working” and didn’t view Trump’s Ellipse speech on January 6. And he stated that he had no recollection of a conversation with Hutchinson during that time.
“I don’t recall talking to her that day. I recall talking to Dan Scavino, I recall talking to Jared [Kushner], I recall talking to Trump,” he said.
Kinzinger, who for years enjoyed a strong relationship with McCarthy, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper he didn’t buy the GOP leader’s statement.
“I mean, look, I don’t trust a thing Kevin McCarthy says, I’ll be honest with you,” he said.
He continued: “Sometime about a year or two ago, he made the decision that his only goal was to become Speaker of the House. And he’ll do whatever he has to do, and he thinks that siding with the insurrectionists is the way to get there. Maybe it will make him speaker.”
McCarthy, who is poised to lead the House if the GOP wins a majority this November, has been angling for years to hold the speaker’s gavel.
Kinzinger, one of only two Republicans on the House committee probing January 6, praised Hutchinson as “extremely credible.”
“All of these anonymous sources that have tried to discredit her … none of them have come in and spoken on the record under oath,” he said.
“Cassidy Hutchinson maintains a lot of outreach to members of Congress, so it would not be inconceivable that she would be the one that Kevin would call. The idea that she would just come up with that story and make it up is ludicrous,” he added.
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