Contradicting earlier denials, audio has leaked of a call between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and former rep Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) where he appeared to consider asking former President Donald Trump to resign after the January 6th Riots where Trump-supporting protesters breached the U.S. Capitol.

The audio was apparently captured on January 10, 2021, and was first shared on MSNBC by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns in a promotion for their upcoming book.

In the conversation, McCarthy appears to indicate a willingness to go along with Trump’s unsuccessful second impeachment, and when asked if Trump would resign himself he responded “My gut tells me no. I’m seriously thinking of having that conversation with him tonight.” He also said, “From what I know of him, I mean you guys know him too, do you think he’d ever back away?”

McCarthy is also heard saying, “what I think I’m going to do, is I’m going to call him.” That call reportedly never occurred, and the California representative did not end up being one of the 10 Republican representatives who voted to impeach Trump in the House.

McCarthy also said, “I think there’s a chance it’ll pass in the Senate, even when he’s gone,” which ended up being untrue. He wrapped up the call saying he would attempt to instruct Trump, “It would be my recommendation you should resign. That would be my take, but I don’t think he would take it.” The interaction was shared in full below.

Reporters Martin and Burns also teased while being interviewed by Rachel Maddow that they have access to “a lot more on tape from this period which is at the highest levels of American politics.”

Some critics online have noted that these bombshell releases have come over a year following a time when their exposure would have been even more useful. It also comes off like a more self-serving move when reporters are sitting on valuable information for the country just to put in a book they’re trying to make a bestseller.

One reporter, NPR host Linda Holmes noted this phenomenon by pointing out a contrasting example, Ronan Farrow, who released several exposes about Harvey Weinstein and other predators in media and politics in the years before his collective book on the matter, Catch and Kill was published in 2019.

Read more about: