Axios reports, citing a White House official and another source familiar with the call, that Trump spoke with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on the phone Monday morning where he made the claim.
However, McCarthy reportedly pushed back on that claim, telling the president, “It’s not Antifa, it’s MAGA. I know. I was there.”
Antifa is defined as “violent counter-protesters” who are “a loose collection of groups, networks and individuals who believe in active, aggressive opposition to far right-wing movements,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The White House official also told Axios that Trump went on about election fraud during the phone call as well, to which McCarthy responded, “Stop it. It’s over. The election is over.”
Additionally, McCarthy reportedly encouraged Trump to call President-elect Joe Biden ahead of Inauguration Day and meet with him, as well as follow other traditions such as leaving a welcome letter.
According to two sources, McCarthy told Republican lawmakers on Monday that Trump accepted “some responsibility” for the U.S. Capitol riot where thousands of Trump supporters stormed the building on Jan. 6.
The riot happened after Trump spoke at a rally in Washington, D.C., where he urged his supporters to “walk down to the Capitol” and “show strength.”
McCarthy reportedly told his Republican colleagues, “I asked [Trump] personally today if he holds responsibility for what happened, if he feels bad about what happened. He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened.”
Trump condemned the violent protests that occurred in a since-deleted video message — the president’s personal Twitter account is permanently suspended — posted last Thursday, where he said he was “outraged by the violence, lawlessness, and mayhem.”
“A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation,” Trump also said.
However, many Democrats in the House of Representatives are pushing for Trump’s removal from office by pressing for the 25th Amendment to be invoked and the House is likely to consider an impeachment article against Trump on Wednesday. Trump is also facing calls to resign.
The FBI warned on Monday that there are possible armed protests being planned leading up to Biden’s inauguration.