(CNS News) -- After the New York Times posted audio of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) sharply criticizing Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and several other House conservatives for their comments during the Jan. 6, 2021 protest at the U.S. Capitol, Gaetz issued a statement saying that McCarthy and Scalise "held views about President Trump and me that they shared on sniveling calls with Liz Cheney [R-Wy.], not us."
"This is the behavior of weak men, not leaders," added Gaetz.
The New York Times reported on April 26 that McCarthy, on a call with other Republican leaders, said of Gaetz, “He’s calling people, names out, saying are anti-Trump -- in this type of atmosphere, uh, and some of the other places, this is serious stuff people are doing that has to stop. ... This is serious s***, [need] to cut this out."
Rep. Steve Scalise then said, “It’s potentially illegal what he’s doing."
McCarthy then replied, 'Well, he's putting people in jeopardy. And he doesn’t need to be doing this. We saw what people would do in the Capitol, you know, and these people came prepared with rope, with everything else.”
In response to the story -- the audio was obtained by the New York Times -- Rep. Gaetz issued a statement today on Twitter. It says,
“Rep McCarthy and Rep. Scalise held views about President Trump and me that they shared on sniveling calls with Liz Cheney, not us. This is the behavior of weak men, not leaders.
"Folks know what I think because I tell them clearly, directly, as I did when I held the largest event in Wyoming political history (without a rodeo element) days after these recordings were taken.
"While I was protecting President Trump from impeachment, they were protecting Liz Cheney from criticism. They deemed it incendiary or illegal to call Cheney and [Adam] Kinzinger 'Anti-Trump,' a label both proudly advertise today.
"On the bright side, you no longer have to be a lobbyist with a $5,000 check to know what McCarthy and Scalise really think. You just have to listen to their own words as they disparage Trump and the Republicans in Congress who fight for him."
In the Democrat-led impeachment vote against President Trump for alleged "incitement of insurrection," on Jan. 13, 2021, ten Republicans in the House voted for impeachment. These Republicans included Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.). Trump was acquitted in the Senate.
In the fall of 2021, Cheney said, "We are also confronting a domestic threat that we have never faced before: a former president [Trump] who's attempting to unravel the foundations of our Constitutional Republic aided by political leaders who have made themselves willing hostages to this dangerous and irrational man."