Matt Gaetz Mulls Jim Jordan as New GOP Leader Following McCarthy Audio Leak


Rep. Matt Gaetz appeared to be considering Rep. Jim Jordan as a possible replacement for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy after the audio was released in which McCarthy said he was considering advising then-Speaker Donald Trump to resign.

Gaetz, a Republican who represents Florida’s 1st District, was responding to a Twitter user who urged him and Jordan to take over the House GOP leadership from McCarthy.

The original tweet called McCarthy a “RINO” (Republican in name only), but Gaetz’s response focused on praising Jordan, who represents Ohio’s 4th congressional district.

“@jim_Jordan is the hardest working and talented member of the Republican House Conference,” Gaetz wrote. “And every member knows that.”

Gaetz has been very critical of McCarthy since the audio was released.

U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) (L) and Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) (R) listen during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee at Rayburn House Office Building on June 30, 2021 in Washington , DC. Gaetz praised Jordan following a suggestion that he could replace House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

On this Jan. 10, 2021, recording, McCarthy told Rep. Liz Cheney and others on the call that he was considering advising Trump to step down following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Gaetz accused Cheney of leaking the recording to reporters Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin of The New York Times, which first reported that McCarthy had considered recommending Trump’s resignation. McCarthy strongly denied the report before the audio was released.

“While I was rallying in Wyoming against Liz Cheney…Kevin McCarthy was defending Liz Cheney among House Republicans…As Liz Cheney was secretly recording Kevin McCarthy for the New York Times“, Gaetz tweeted Friday.

“@GOPLeader you should have trusted my instincts, not yours,” he said.

However, a spokeswoman for Cheney denied providing the audio to reporters and said she did not know how the recording was obtained.

Gaetz was more critical of McCarthy’s leadership during an appearance on Newsmax Friday.

“You have a situation where you either have to believe Kevin’s statements or your own lying ears,” the congressman said. “There are some issues.”

“The conference never believed that Donald Trump should step down, so having a leader so far removed from the conference is itself a problem,” Gaetz continued.

However, Gaetz said McCarthy’s position may not be affected by the leaked audio due to the House Minority Leader’s ability to raise funds.

Gaetz said “the alliance between leaders and Republicans in conference is not an alliance based on truth or honesty.”

“The pact is all about fundraising and Kevin McCarthy is the most elite fundraiser in Republican conference history,” he continued, adding that McCarthy’s position could be secured if he continues to provide funds.

He went on to say that McCarthy “really gains his strength not by maintaining great credibility for the truth with people, but by making sure he’s always going to be there with the checks.”

Trump and McCarthy reportedly had a “positive” call with Trump after the audio was released.

Newsweek asked Kevin McCarthy’s office for comment.




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