McConnell and McCarthy’s January 6 fury with Trump died down in February

During the same Jan. 10 conversation, when he said he would ask Mr. Trump to step down, Mr. McCarthy told other GOP leaders that he wanted big tech companies to starve some lawmakers. Republicans from their social media accounts, like Twitter and Facebook had. with Mr. Trump. Members like Lauren Boebert of Colorado had done so much to stoke paranoia about the 2020 election and made offensive comments online about the attack on the Capitol.

“We can’t stand this,” Mr McCarthy said, adding: “Can’t they delete their Twitter accounts too?”

Mr. McCarthy “never said that certain members should be removed from Twitter,” Mr. Bednar said.

Other Republican leaders in the House agreed with Mr. McCarthy that the president’s behavior deserved prompt punishment. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the second House Republican, said on a call that it was time for the GOP to consider a “post-Trump Republican House,” while Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, leader of the party’s House Campaign Committee, suggested censuring Mr. Trump.

Yet neither of the men followed up on their difficult conversation in those private conversations.

In the days that followed, Mr. McCarthy heard some Republican lawmakers advising him against confronting Mr. Trump. In a group chat, Representative Bill Johnson of Ohio warned that Conservative voters back home were “going ballistic” in response to Mr Trump’s criticism, demanding that Republicans instead direct their whistleblowers at Democrats, such as than Hillary Clinton and Hunter Biden.

“I’m just telling you that’s the kind of stuff we’re dealing with, with our base,” Mr Johnson said.

When just 10 House Republicans joined Democrats in backing Mr. Trump’s impeachment on Jan. 13, the message to Mr. McCarthy was clear.

By the end of the month, he was pursuing a rapprochement with Mr. Trump, visiting him at Mar-a-Lago and posing for a photo. (“I didn’t know they were going to take a picture,” McCarthy said, somewhat apologetically, to a frustrated lawmaker.)


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