Adam Kinzinger says GOP leaders think their voters are 'dumb' as audio emerges of Kevin McCarthy saying he'd ask Trump to resign over Jan. 6

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Adam Kinzinger
Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • New audio shows McCarthy saying he held Trump responsible for the Capitol riot and would ask him to resign.

  • Hours before the audio release, McCarthy denied wanting Trump's resignation.

  • Kinzinger said in response: "Republicans, your leaders think you are dumb. Let's be done with them."

Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois reacted to the leaked audio that showed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying he'd ask Donald Trump's resignation as president after the Capitol riot, saying it showed that Republican leaders thought their voters were "dumb."

Kinzinger, who is one of two Republicans serving on the House committee investigating the riot, was addressing the Thursday release of audio in which McCarthy told GOP leaders he held Trump accountable for the riot.

In the audio, which was recorded shortly after the insurrection, McCarthy is heard telling colleagues that he planned to ask the then-president to resign.

Video: Trump voters explain why they want him back

McCarthy now portrays himself as an adamant Trump loyalist. Hours before the release of the audio, he denied planning to ask Trump to resign over the riot.

"Wow," Kinzinger tweeted after the release of the audio. "McCarthy literally today said this was a lie and just a few hours later the tape with his voice from his mouth proves THAT was a lie. Incredible. @GOPLeader ought to be ashamed. Republicans, your leaders think you are dumb. Let's be done with them."

Later on Thursday, Kinzinger tweeted a picture of McCarthy with Trump in Mar-a-Lago in January 2021, just weeks after the riot and the conversation in which McCarthy said he blamed Trump.

"McCarthy was over Trump until he wasn't, when he realized he needed him," tweeted Kinzinger with the image.

Trump was heavily criticized by many Republican leaders in the wake of the Capitol riot.

But as the former president's popularity with the Republican base held firm, many, including McCarthy, rapidly sought to rebuild ties with the former president, and softened or walked back their criticisms.

The former president is considering a bid to return to the White House in 2024, while critics including Kinzinger and fellow January 6 committee member Rep. Liz Cheney are considered pariahs in the GOP.

Read the original article on Business Insider