FULL EPISODE: 1/24/21 House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy & Sen. Mark Warner talk Pres. Biden & Trump impeachment

Rep. Kevin McCarthy addressed a tweet from President Donald Trump floating the possibility of...
Rep. Kevin McCarthy addressed a tweet from President Donald Trump floating the possibility of delaying the November general election.
Updated: Jan. 23, 2021 at 11:52 PM EST
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Washington, D.C. – Greta Van Susteren interviewed Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the House Republican leader, and Sen Mark Warner (D-VA), incoming chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, for Gray Television’s “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren” airing Sunday, January 24, 2021.

When asked to clarify recent contradictory statements about whether former President Trump was to blame for the attack on the U.S. Capitol, Leader McCarthy told Van Susteren: “The president had some responsibility when it came to the response … I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility.”

On GOP Rep. Liz Cheney’s vote to impeach President Trump, McCarthy said “she never told me ahead of time” and that “she has a lot of questions she has to answer to the [Republican] conference.” The Congressman also said he disagreed with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s decision to submit articles of impeachment against President Biden, and that he had called her to discuss the issue.

Democratic Sen. Warner said he had not reached a final decision on whether to vote to convict Donald Trump and will wait to hear from the former President’s lawyers, “but I was there on the floor. I saw those thugs. I saw them approach. I saw six people get killed. I’ve seen the damage that was done to the Capitol. I heard the words of Donald Trump used to incite that crowd.”

On ethics complaints against Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley for the role they may have played in the insurrection, Warner said: “They’re very smart. They knew what they were doing.”

Rep. McCarthy and Sen. Warner highlights are below.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy Highlights

On whether President Trump is to blame for the attack on the Capitol

Greta Van Susteren

It seemed like in the beginning that you thought that he had responsibility in what happened at the Capitol on January 6th, and then later you changed. Can you clarify that for me?

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Leader

No, I have not changed in that. I notice where people write about that. No, what I said, I thought the president had some responsibility when it came to the response. If you listen to what the president said at the rally, he said, “demonstrate peacefully.” And then I got a question later about whether did he incite them. I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Leader

So I think there’s from a whole nation, we should take this moment in time to find how we can correct ourselves. But President Trump said “peacefully.” What I said on the floor was that President Trump could have responded faster when the riots first started. I thought his video, the second video, was a very good video. I wish that was the first one.

Remember what we find out now? And this is where I have a real problem. The FBI knew that this was planned. The FBI knew so many days in advance, told the Capitol Police. And I am the Republican leader, no one told us. What did the Sergeant-of-arms know? Why didn’t he allow the national guard in there? These are the people that have a great deal of responsibility for protecting the Capitol and letting the Capitol get broken into.

If they knew ahead of time, the FBI, did they tell the Speaker, or did they tell the Sergeant-of-Arms and they didn’t tell the Republicans? Did they deny the National Guard to come forward because they didn’t like the look of that? Again, why didn’t they come to us and ask us? When we had a meeting the day before they said they were prepared for all of it. I think this is what we have to get to the bottom of, and when you start talking about who has responsibilities, I think there’s going to be a lot more questions, a lot more answers we have to have in the coming future.

On Rep. Liz Cheney’s decision to vote for impeachment

Greta Van Susteren

There’s been some question about whether she’ll stay in leadership. Some people are unhappy with her vote and don’t want her leadership. Do you see any way that she doesn’t remain number three in this next Congress?

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Leader

Look, everybody’s able to vote their district or what they think is most important. Leadership is a little different job, especially when you’re the communications arm of it and the number three person. I think it’s best that within the Republican party, that we have a lot of different voices. We have a lot of different opinions unlike within the Democrats. But we will have a special conference to discuss this. I think there’s a lot of questions that have to be answered and we’ve got to be able to do that in a family meeting to help bring people back together.

Greta Van Susteren

Do you support her? She had a different position than you did. You voted differently than she did.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Leader

Look, I support her, but I also have concerns. She took a position as a number three member in conference, she never told me ahead of time. One thing about leadership, if we’re going to work together, we should understand. We know that this is going to become a difficulty. She can have a difference of opinion, but the one thing if we’re going to lead within the conference, we should work together on that as a whole conference because we’re representative of that conference. So I support her, but I do think she has a lot of questions she has to answer to the conference.

Greta Van Susteren

And how does she answer those questions? In what form?

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Leader

Well, the best form is a closed conference. Let people ask their questions, let her express why she did what she did, where did she come to that conclusion? And let’s just have that discussion.

On Rep. Margorie Taylor Greene submitting articles of impeachment against President Biden

Greta Van Susteren

Congresswoman Marjorie [Taylor] Greene, who is a brand new congresswoman from Georgia has submitted articles of impeachment against President Biden on his first day in office. Did you know she was going to submit that?

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Leader

No, she said to the public before she told me. I called her. I disagree with that. That’s exactly what the Democrats did with President Trump, and why we disagreed with when they wanted to come after him for purely political reasons. Why you wanted to impeach President Trump. Many of the Democrats have showed their partisanship from the very beginning saying they’re going to impeach the president before he’s even sworn in. I think it’s very serious when someone talks about impeachment, and that’s why we always voted against the impeachments of President Trump, because they were always political on every basis of that Democrats brought forward. I think Republicans are better than that. That this is one of the arguments we used against the Democrats, and I don’t think we should use it either.

Greta Van Susteren

Did you say anything to her after that?

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Leader

Yeah, I called and we had a discussion about that. I think it’s best, especially with what we have gone through with the Democrats, let’s not stoop to their level, lets believe in the rule of law. And if President Biden does something that rises to the occasion on the level of impeachment, that’s when we do offer articles of impeachment.

Greta Van Susteren

Did she agree and say she would withdraw it?

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Leader

No. She has a right to, as an elected member of Congress to submit those. I just don’t think the timing and the case is right at this time, in this moment.

Sen. Mark Warner Highlights

On whether he will vote to convict former President Trump

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Incoming Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee

I’ve not reached a final conclusion, but my expectation would be, and I want to hear from Trump’s lawyers, but I was there on the floor. I saw those thugs. I saw them approach. I saw six people get killed. I’ve seen the damage that was done to the Capitol. I heard the words of Donald Trump used to incite that crowd.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Incoming Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee

I saw all the Tweets beforehand. So do I think Donald Trump was at least partially responsible for that attack and that insurrection against rule of law? Absolutely.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Incoming Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee

Donald Trump and his enormous ego and unwillingness to accept reality decided to try to overturn those duly constituted results.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Incoming Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee

And he was enabled, obviously by some of his minions. And the consequences of that was the first active invasion of our Capitol since the British took it in the War of 1812. I think that’s pretty damning. And I think there needs to be accountability.

On Twitter’s decision to ban President Trump

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Incoming Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee

Donald Trump was clearly inciting violence on January 6th and six people are dead, 15 Capitol Police Officers are wounded, many of them still recovering from those wounds. And there needs to be responsibility. What I don’t want to do though, is simply rely upon the goodwill or arbitrary decisions of Jack Dorsey at Twitter or Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook on making those decisions. I’m not sure it’s fair to them.

And it sure as heck not fair to the millions, and in the case of Facebook, billions of people who use those platforms. So let’s set some rules of the road. Other nation-states have done this.

On Democrats’ ethics complaints against Senators Cruz and Hawley

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Incoming Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee

While the Capitol was under siege, at least one of those senators, my understanding was, was sending out a fundraising appeal. I think that’s outrageous.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Incoming Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee

I think they’ve shown virtually no remorse and that behavior, if you allow that behavior, whether it comes from the President, a Senator or Congressman, what you simply do is degrade respect for rule of law. You degrade respect for our constitution.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Incoming Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee

They are very smart. They’re very smart. They knew what they were doing.

On changing the filibuster

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Incoming Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee

I’m not starting with any notion of changing the filibuster, but what I’ve got to see is good faith from my Republican colleagues. What we can’t see is the approach that Leader McConnell took under Obama, which is we’re going to oppose everything that comes out of that President. So as long as my Republican colleagues work in good faith, I’m not looking to change any rules.

On whether there will be bipartisanship in the Senate

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Incoming Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee

I think showing the fact that we put a COVID bill together, got it passed, ended up getting 92 votes, we intend to stay a factor in not only the next COVID negotiation, but a lot of the more difficult issues that will come up. So I’m really optimistic that the Senate can actually work together.”

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About Greta Van Susteren:

Greta Van Susteren is the Chief Political Analyst for Gray Media and host of Full Court Press. Ms. Van Susteren is a veteran of Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNN. Her prime-time Fox News Channel Show, “On the Record,” was number 1 in its time slot for 14 1⁄2 years. Before joining Fox News, she hosted CNN’s prime-time news and analysis program, “The Point with Greta Van Susteren,” and co-hosted the network’s daily legal analysis show, “Burden of Proof.” Her legal analysis for CNN’s coverage of Election 2000 earned her the American Bar Association’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Journalism. She continues to host the weekly 30-minute program “Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren” on Voice of America, which broadcasts exclusively outside of the United States.

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