‘He lies’: Kevin McCarthy’s political mentor rips him as liar in scathing attack

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, speaks during his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill, Thursday, July 30th, 2020.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, speaks during his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill, Thursday, July 30th, 2020. (Graeme Jennings/Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner)

‘He lies’: Kevin McCarthy’s political mentor rips him as liar in scathing attack

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A former mentor to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy blasted the aspiring speaker in remarks published this week for a profile of McCarthy.

“You never know what’s inside, really,” former California Rep. Bill Thomas (R), who employed McCarthy for years, told the New Yorker in a piece published on Monday. “Kevin basically is whatever you want him to be. He lies. He’ll change the lie if necessary. How can anyone trust his word?”

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It wasn’t the first time Thomas had gone after his former employee and friend.

Thomas criticized McCarthy in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, arguing McCarthy’s ambitions for a future leadership role had caused him to hold back the criticism he should have leveled at former President Donald Trump.

The new accusations of dishonesty from Thomas, who held the Bakersfield seat that McCarthy went on to represent, come as McCarthy fights to become speaker of the House against resistance from conservatives in the lower chamber.

House Freedom Caucus conservatives have demanded rule changes and influence on committees in exchange for supporting McCarthy in the Jan. 3 leadership elections.

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But McCarthy has also angered more centrist members of his party at times over what critics call his deference to Trump, even after the Jan. 6 riots and Trump’s alleged criminal mishandling of classified information.

McCarthy’s attempts to bridge both sides of his party have caused critics such as Thomas to accuse him of playing both sides.

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