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Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) slammed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Friday night following his comments on his contact with former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson on the day of the Capitol insurrection.
The Illinois Republican, who has been a vocal and frequent critic of former President Trump, told CNN host Anderson Cooper that he does not “trust a thing Kevin McCarthy says.”
“I mean, look, I don’t trust a thing Kevin McCarthy says, I’ll be honest with you,” said Kinzinger, according to CNN footage on Mediaite.
The comment from Kinzinger, one of two Republicans serving on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, comes hours after McCarthy told reporters during a press conference that he did not recall talking to Hutchinson on Jan. 6 about the possibility of Trump coming to the Capitol during the election certification process.
“If I talked to her, I don’t remember it. If it was coming up here, I don’t think I wanted a lot of people coming up to the Capitol. But I don’t remember the conversation,” McCarthy said.
He did say that he remembered talking to White House deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, Trump and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner on that day.
Kinzinger claimed that McCarthy is “siding with insurrectionists” because he’s vying for the Speaker’s gavel should Republicans win the House in the 2022 midterms.
“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,” said Kinzinger.
Kinzinger said that Hutchinson was “extremely credible” during her testimony under oath at the hearing.
“The idea she would just come up with that story and make it up is ludicrous,” he said, criticizing figures who have denied parts of Hutchinson’s testimony.
Hutchinson was a star witness in the Jan. 6 committee’s public hearings, which have attempted to demonstrate the role that Trump played in the day’s events.
The former Trump aide shared, among other things, that the former president and then-chief of staff Mark Meadows knew attendees at the Ellipse rally had weapons.
Hutchinson testified that she spoke with McCarthy during the riot about the prospect of Trump going to the Capitol.
The Hill has reached out to McCarthy for comment.