As lawmakers have started to fully digest the deadly turn of events that unfolded Wednesday, a cohort of House Republicans have begun to direct their outrage and frustration at their own leaders, according to interviews with nearly two dozen GOP members and aides. Privately, they say McCarthy and Scalise failed to show leadership in a time of crisis and should have done more to call out Trump for his role in the riots that left five people dead.
Of the top three GOP leaders in the House, only Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney has directly condemned Trump’s dangerous rhetoric and behavior. Cheney also vocally opposed the effort to object to the election results when Congress certified them on Jan. 6.
While no one is calling on McCarthy or Scalise to step aside from their posts — they were, afterall, just unanimously elected to serve another term in leadership — tensions are undoubtedly running high inside the conference.
“There’s a little bit of anger, but a lot of disappointment,” one GOP member said in an interview. “And what you saw on display with Steve and Kevin was, eh, we’re just gonna continue on with the narrative of the right and they did not catch the moment. That’s troublesome.”