WA Rep. Herrera Beutler: ‘I’m still the exact same Republican’ despite impeachment drama
Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler made headlines over the weekend when her recounting of a phone call former President Donald Trump had with Rep. Kevin McCarthy during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection resurfaced. That’s since had her caught between Republicans critical of her vote to impeach Trump in the House of Representatives, and Democrats who treated that recounting as a last-minute revelation.
Herrera Beutler’s account of the phone call came from a conversation she had with McCarthy, who told her privately that during the insurrection, he had called Trump to ask him to call off the rioters. Trump allegedly responded by telling McCarthy, “I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
The southwest Washington representative described her conversation with McCarthy on more than one occasion prior to last weekend’s Senate vote to acquit Trump. But as she points out, it still got circulated across major news networks as an 11th hour surprise.
“They made it seem like I was releasing some late breaking statement, as if I wanted to insert myself into the business of the Senate, which I didn’t,” she told KTTH’s Jason Rantz Show, pointing out that if Democrats in the Senate really wanted to call witnesses, they should have been looking to talk to McCarthy rather than her, given his status as a primary source of that information.
Ultimately, it was that phone call between McCarthy and Trump that helped convince Herrera Beutler of Trump’s culpability in inciting rioters.
“That really ended up being one of, I would say, maybe three things that ended up being deciding factors for me in deciding to impeach,” she detailed. “It spoke to the intent of the president. A lot of people have said, ‘Well, you can’t blame the whole riot on his speech,’ and I would argue that the riot, taken with the things (Trump) did or didn’t do during the hours of the entire insurrection, tell me what he thought and what he wanted — he didn’t call it off.”
Rep. Herrera Beutler has been outspoken in that belief, joining nine of her Republican colleagues in the House in voting to impeach the former president. That’s also a stance that has seen her take significant flack from many in her own party.
Despite that, she insists that she’s no less committed to her conservative values.
“I’m still the exact same conservative Republican woman that I have been since the beginning; I really am,” she said. “… To come to this point and have people question that, I’m not going to lie, that’s a huge bummer — I hate that.”
“But I also hope to get the chance over the next year or so to continue to make the case that I’m still the conservative congresswoman I was.”
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