Kevin McCarthy was allegedly the subject of foul-mouthed rants by former US president Donald Trump, who claimed that the Republican House leader “pretended” to be his friend, a new book says.
Mr Trump, according to an account from Peril, a book soon to be released by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward and his Washington Post colleague Robert Costa, flipped after Mr McCarthy condemned the 6 January riot.
“This guy called me every single day, pretended to be my best friend, and then, he f****d me,” Mr Trump reportedly said of the Republican House leader in February. “He’s not a good guy”.
Mr McCarthy told the House a week after 6 January that the former president bore responsibility for the attack on Congress “by mob rioters”, and that Mr Trump “should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding”.
Like many Republicans, the House leader later walked back his remarks following Joe Biden’s inauguration on 2020 January, and asked Mr Trump for his backing.
Behind Mr McCarthy’s back, according to Woodward, Mr Trump told friends in February that “Kevin came down to kiss my a** and wants my help to win the House back”, a month he after travelled to Mar-a-Lago in Florida for a photo op with his former boss.
The book by Mr Woodward and Mr Costa, which is scheduled for release on 21 September, also contains allegations that Mr Trump told his vice president, Mike Pence, that he would not be “his friend anymore” if he refused to overturn the 2020 results in his favour.
Mr Pence went on to oversee the joint session of Congress that confirmed the results of the 2020 election as the US Capitol building came attack from a pro-Trump mob.
Gen Mark Milley, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also allegedly took action to stop Mr Trump from going “rogue” with nuclear weapons, wrote Woodward.
The top US military figure also called his Chinese counterpart to assure them that Washington DC would not attack in Mr Trump’s final months in office, reported CNN, who obtained a copy of Peril.