Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is the kind of loyal stooge who would be willing to say anything that Donald Trump told him to say, no matter how absurd, untrue, or offensive. For Trump, it can’t get much easier than that. But Trump nonetheless found a way to screw it up this morning when he tweeted a quote from McCarthy that McCarthy simply never said.
Donald Trump tweeted this quote today, which he claimed came from Kevin McCarthy: “The President’s Tweets were not Racist. The controversy over the tweets is ALL POLITICS. I will vote against this resolution.” No one could find any record of McCarthy having spoken these words, which was weird considering that Trump placed it in quotation marks, making clear that he considered them to be McCarthy’s exact words. Kyle Cheney from Politico quickly caught on, tweeting “This appears to be not a real quote from McCarthy.”
Cheney then tracked down what McCarthy actually said during a news conference: “I will vote against this resolution if you’re asking … It’s all politics. If you look at the resolution itself and you look at the rules of the house, you can’t even name the resolution on the floor. If this is the case of what they are concerned most about, let’s go through every comment individuals have made on the other side of the aisle, are we bringing a resolution up on the floor about their comments? No.”
Some of the same words and phrases are in there, and the sentiment is the same – but what Donald Trump tweeted is clearly not even close to being a real quote from Kevin McCarthy. The question of course is why Trump would bother making up a fake quote like this, when McCarthy would have been willing to speak these exact words if Trump had asked him to. Our guess is that Trump’s people fed the quote to McCarthy, who then worded it entirely differently during the press conference, and then Trump’s people had him tweet the original quote instead of what McCarthy actually said. These people are as inept as they are dishonest.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report