McCarthy particularly warns that attacking different members will put them in danger
The audio of McCarthy’s call to members of his caucus, received on Punchbowl News, appears to be from a call he put on Monday last week. McCarthy says the trigger for his warning is based on the FBI briefings he receives weekly. “I’ve seen something I’ve never seen before,” he says pleadingly. “So I’m asking all of you – I’ve called some of you personally and I want you to know what I’m hearing.”
McCarthy continues, “Don’t raise another member’s name on TV, whether they are in a different position or not. Let’s respect each other and you probably won’t understand what you’re doing and I’m warning you right now – do it Not. “
Trump was predictably obsessed with getting revenge on everyone who has crossed him since the siege, particularly Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and the nine other Republicans in the House who voted to indict him. The Washington Post reports that after Trump lost his megaphone on Twitter, he urged loyalists to place his bids and address people on his behalf. “He has encouraged allies to attack them publicly because he no longer has access to his Twitter account and has not conducted media interviews in which he could launch his own attacks,” the Post writes.
Obviously, McCarthy is concerned that someone will be injured or even killed as a result of Trump’s campaign of revenge. McCarthy’s warning was reported by Axios last week, but the actual audio wasn’t released until this week.
Here are some highlights from the call (Part I and Part II):
We must all recognize how our words have contributed to the discord in America. If you’re on your phone texting what I’m saying, put it down for a moment. I’ll have another briefing from the FBI later after that call.
But what we say on TV when we say a member’s name – in our hearts we may think we’re doing nothing … for the past four years everyone has done something.
This is not the time to do it. The briefings I get – you can incite something else. The country is very divided and we know that. Let’s not install a member – I don’t care who you are, Republicans, Democrats or people who are not even in Congress. Watch our words closely.
I get these reports weekly. I’ve seen something I’ve never seen before. So I’m asking all of you – I’ve called some of you personally and I want you to know what I’m hearing.
I know that you want to defend your voice, that you want to defend your positions – and sometimes we get emotional about it. Part of our defense is to explain why someone else (audio unclear). That brings harm.
Do not elevate any other member’s name on TV, whether or not they have a different position. Let’s respect each other and you probably won’t understand what you are doing and I’m just warning you – don’t do it. …
I want everyone to understand – the emotions are high. What you say is important, let’s not put other people at risk. Let us observe which words we use and in no case use the names of other members in a medium. Take a moment and take a deep breath. Don’t do this because it puts people at risk.