House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy privately made a blunt appeal to his colleagues in the aftermath of the divisive fight to impeach former President Donald Trump: Stop attacking each other and instead focus on Democrats.
“Cut that crap out,” McCarthy told his members, according to two sources on the call. McCarthy said he’s had personal discussions with individual members and warned that a continued GOP vs. GOP battle will only benefit Democrats as his party aims to recapture the majority in next year’s midterms.
“No more attacks to one another,” he said, including over Twitter.
One GOP lawmaker, who asked not to be named, said that McCarthy’s message overall was upbeat and hopeful. “He said the only thing that can stop us from taking the majority is us.”
The internecine attacks have been relentless in recent days as much of the conference has sided with Trump while others have split from the former President, including Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican, and nine of her colleagues who voted to impeach Trump on a charge of inciting an insurrection that led to the deadly Capitol riot on January 6. Trump’s defenders in the conference are trying to oust Cheney from her leadership position, while Cheney’s backers are confident they can beat back that effort, though the topic did not surface on Wednesday’s call, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The call, which was hosted by the National Republican Congressional Committee, was aimed at ensuring that members ponied up money to help win back the majority, with GOP members pledging more than $2 million to the party campaign committee.
And on the call, sources said, Republicans committed to filling the NRCC’s coffers, including controversial freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. The Georgia Republican promised to pay her dues and transfer $175,000 to the NRCC, which prompted the committee’s chairman, Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, to thank her during the call, the sources said.
Greene herself has been engaged in a Twitter war with one fellow House Republican, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who has warned his party not to follow her brand of politics. CNN reported Tuesday that Greene repeatedly indicated support for executing prominent Democratic politicians in 2018 and 2019 before being elected to Congress, which has drawn backlash from lawmakers including Kinzinger.
But McCarthy is eager to keep those disputes private. A spokesman for the GOP leader did not respond to a request for comment.
During the call, lawmakers also discussed other matters — including the decision by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to install metal detectors just off the House floor, something that has enraged many Republicans. North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson urged his colleagues to not create scenes off the floor and in the presence of reporters — and to instead channel their objections internally so they can work to modify the system, the sources said.