McCarthy claimed Trump didn’t know about January 6 violence, book reveals

A new book by former DC police officer Michael Fanone reveals Mr McCarthy downplaying Mr Trump’s knowledge of the violence at the Capitol that day

Andrew Feinberg
Monday 10 October 2022 17:16 BST
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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy reportedly told two police officers who were injured during the January 6 attack on the Capitol that then-president Donald Trump had no idea that a riotous mob of his supporters was storming the US legislature to prevent certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.

Mr McCarthy, who could become speaker of the House should the GOP gain a majority in the November midterm elections, claimed the twice-impeached ex-president was unaware of the Capitol attack during a meeting with then- District of Columbia police officer Michael Fanone, Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn and Gladys Sicknick, the mother of Brian Sicknick a Capitol Police officer who died the day after the riot.

Mr Fanone, who left the DC police department and is now a law enforcement analyst with CNN, recorded the conversation with Mr McCarthy and made the recording public ahead of the release of his book, Hold the Line.

According to excerpts reported on by CNN, the former undercover narcotics officer writes that the meeting took place while Mr McCarthy was “backing off on a pledge to appoint Republicans to the special January 6 Committee”.

He added that “the only reason” the GOP leader agreed to the meeting “was because he’d been getting heat for refusing to see [him]”.

Mr Fanone recalls how Mr McCarthy also took credit for Mr Trump’s videotaped statement telling rioters to “go home” and claimed the then-president was ignorant of the violence.

“I’m just telling you from my phone call, I don’t know that he did know that,” he said, according to Mr Fanone.

Ms Sicknick, whose son suffered a stroke shortly after confronting rioters, cast doubt on Mr McCarthy’s claim, telling the GOP leader: “He already knew what was going on”.

“People were fighting for hours and hours and hours. This doesn’t make any sense to me,” she said.

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