Former President Donald Trump has blasted a “very foolish” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot — saying the lack of Republican participation was a “bad decision.”
The 45th president told conservative radio host Wayne Allyn Root on Sunday that McCarthy’s decision to shun the committee was not the right call.
“Unfortunately, a bad decision was made. This Committee — it was a bad decision not to have representation on this Committee. That was a very, very foolish decision,” Trump said, accusing the panel of acting as a “one-sided witch hunt.”
While there are currently two Republican members of Congress on the panel – Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) – Trump has continuously accused them of being “RINOs”, or Republicans in name only for failing to back his false claims of massive voter fraud.
“We have no representation on this panel,” Trump said earlier in the interview. “We should certainly have some Republicans, real Republicans… We have nobody on that panel who can fight back.”
“In a way, the Republicans should be ashamed of themselves.”
A representative for McCarthy did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
The former president has not shied away from expressing his frustration privately, recently saying, “I don’t know why Kevin didn’t put anyone on the committee,” according to CNN which cited a GOP source with direct knowledge of the comments.
Trump doubled down on his remarks Wednesday telling Punchbowl News it “would have been good” if there was increased Republican representation on the committee.
“Well, I think in retrospect, I think it would have been very smart to put [Republicans on the committee] and again, I wasn’t involved in it from a standpoint so I never looked at it too closely. But I think it would have been good if we had representation.” Trump said.
“I think in retrospect [McCarthy should’ve put Republicans on] to just have a voice. The Republicans don’t have a voice. They don’t even have anything to say,” he continued.
Trump suggested that Republican Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio would have been good additions to the panel.
“But when Pelosi wrongfully didn’t allow them, we should’ve picked other people,” Trump said. “We have a lot of good people in the Republican Party.”
In July 2021, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected McCarthy’s Republican nominations to the Jan. 6 committee, citing concerns about statements Banks and Jordan had made in the past.
“With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee,” she said at the time.
While McCarthy blasted the move as an “egregious abuse of power,” he ultimately pulled his three other nominations to the panel – Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, and Troy Nehls of Texas.
Ultimately, Pelosi selected Cheney and Kinzinger to keep the committee bipartisan.
Trump’s frustration comes amid several live hearings held by the committee as part of their investigation. So far, the panel has featured live witness testimony and pre-tapped video deposition from dozens of Trump aides – including his own daughter, Ivanka Trump – as well as state and local elections officials his campaign repeatedly pressured to overturn the 2020 election results.
On Tuesday, the committee laid out that Trump and allies – most notably his lawyer Rudy Giuliani – pushed for state officials to replace pro-Biden electors with those loyal to Trump as well as “find” thousands of votes in favor of the former president.
The committee has also detailed Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 as hundreds of his supporters broke into the US Capitol, endangering members of Congress and then-Vice President Mike Pence.
The fifth live hearing is scheduled to take place on Thursday around 1 p.m. and will focus on the former president’s efforts to “corrupt” the Department of Justice.