Former president Donald Trump told Punchbowl News that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy should not have pulled all Republicans from the select committee to investigate January 6 as the hearings investigating the riot continue apace.
The former president said that he would have benefited from having equal representation on the committee investigating buildup to 6 January and the actual day of the riot.
“Well, I think in retrospect, I think it would have been very smart to put [Republicans on the committee] and again, I wasn’t involved in it from a standpoint so I never looked at it too closely”, Mr Trump told the newsletter. “But I think it would have been good if we had representation.”
Mr McCarthy has initially named Representatives Jim Banks of Indiana, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, Troy Nehls of Texas and Rodney Davis of Illinois. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to seat Mr Banks, whom Mr McCarthy selected to be the ranking member, and Mr Jordan.
In response, Mr McCarthy pulled all of his choices from the select committee. In response, Ms Pelosi nominated Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who voted to impeach Mr Trump for his actions on 6 January, to serve as the only other Republican alongside Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, whom she initially selected.
Mr Trump said they committee would have been well-served by the other members.
“I think it would’ve been far better to have Republicans [on the panel]. [Jim Banks and Jim Jordan] were great”, Mr Trump said. “They were great and would’ve been great to have them. But when Pelosi wrongfully didn’t allow them, we should’ve picked other people. We have a lot of good people in the Republican Party.”
Earlier this week, Mr Trump spoke to conservative talk show host Wayne Allyn Root and said that while he supported Mr McCarthy in his primary he had not endorsed the California Republican to be Speaker of the House. Mr Trump avoided discussing what he thought about Mr McCarthy as Speaker.
“Well, I’m not going to comment on that now”, Mr Trump told Punchbowl News. “But I just tell you that – and I like Kevin very much – but in retrospect, it’s not fair when you have, I don’t know how many people they have on the committee in total, but whatever it is, and you have nobody to give the opposing point of view.”
But Mr Trump was non-committal when pressed.
“Well, I don’t want to comment on that now”, he said. “But you and I will talk at some point in the future.”