The Lincoln Project released a new TV ad Thursday directed at Donald Trump supporters, asserting that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy believes they’re stupid and laughs at them and the former President behind their backs.
“Kevin McCarthy doesn’t think Trump’s supporters and MAGA Republicans are stupid; he knows it,” the ad says.
“He’s been fooling them all, laughing at them. Kevin tells rich liberal RINO (Republicans in name only) mega-donors he needs their money so he can block Donald Trump’s candidates. But this week, he was caught promising (Wyoming Republican U.S. Rep.) Liz Cheney he’d tell Donald Trump to resign.”
The TV spot, which will run on Fox News in Palm Beach County — Trump’s home county — highlights conflicting comments made by McCarthy, who could become House Speaker after the midterm election.
McCarthy had denied an April 21 New York Times report that he told Republican leaders he would advise Trump to resign following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
He called the report “totally false and wrong.”
But just hours after the story came out, New York Times reporters released audio of a Jan. 10 House Republican Leadership call in which McCarthy can be heard discussing Democratic efforts to remove Trump from office.
Asked by Cheney — who has since lost her No. 3 leadership position after voting for Trump’s impeachment — what he thought about a 25th Amendment resolution calling for Trump’s expulsion and whether Trump might resign, McCarthy said he’d had “a few discussions” on the matter.
“My gut tells me no. I’m seriously thinking of having that conversation with him tonight,” McCarthy said. “What I think I’m going to do is I’m going to call him.”
“I think it will pass and it would be my recommendation that he should resign,” he added later. “I mean, that would be my take, but I don’t know he would take it.”
He continued, “Let me be very clear to all of you, and I’ve been very clear to the President; he bears responsibility for his words and actions — no ifs, ands or buts.”
Those comments stand in stark contrast with McCarthy’s claim that he “never asked the President to resign and never thought he should resign.”
The Lincoln Project ad, which already had more than 27,000 views on YouTube by 10:30 a.m., just hours after its release, notes other unflattering things McCarthy has said about Trump, including a joke in 2016 that Trump is on Russia President Vladimir Putin’s payroll.
“Kevin McCarthy lied to reporters about not wanting Donald Trump to resign and Kevin’s lying now about supporting Trump,” said Reed Galen, a co-founder of the Lincoln Project.
“Kevin is lying to his donors to keep the money flowing and he’s betting that Trump’s a sucker who’ll buy his excuses. But with Tucker Carlson turning on him and calling him a Democratic shill, Kevin may not be laughing much longer.”
View the ad below.
Material from The Associated Press contributed to this report.