Republican “Leader” Kevin McCarthy fled with his security detail during the January 6th insurrection, leaving Rep. Bruce Westerman to fend for himself, crouched on McCarthy’s toilet, armed with a Civil War sword found in a nearby display.
April 28, 2021

Rachel Maddow took righteous aim at a sympathetic New York Times profile that buried the news about McCarthy’s abandonment of his Republican colleague until nearly the end of its 39-paragraph article. The same day of the article, McCarthy appeared on Fox News Sunday and tried to rewrite the history of the January 6th insurrection by pretending Trump had helped quell the violence.

“I don’t understand how this isn’t the headline,” Maddow said, referring to the incident with Westerman. Then she read from the article:

After the House chamber was evacuated on Jan. 6, Mr. McCarthy retreated to his Capitol office with a colleague, Representative Bruce Westerman, Republican of Arkansas. When it became evident the rioters were breaking in, Mr. McCarthy’s security detail insisted he leave. But Mr. Westerman was left behind in Mr. McCarthy’s inner work area, he said in a recent interview.

For protection, Mr. Westerman said he commandeered a Civil War sword from an office display, barricaded himself in Mr. McCarthy’s private bathroom and waited out the siege while crouched on the toilet.

Friends describe the postelection period as traumatic for Mr. McCarthy …

“Wait, [traumatic] for Mr. McCarthy? For Kevin?” Maddow asked incredulously. “He was rushed out because the rioters were breaking in.”

Maddow mockingly imagined how McCarthy had saved himself while deserting his colleague to a violent mob.

MADDOW: It was like, “Oh, no, Bruce, we came here to my office to hide, but the rioters they're inside now. They're coming for us. Bye, Bruce. I'll see you later. I'm out of here. There's a toilet in there. Maybe good luck crouching on top of the toilet. They won't see your feet if they look under the door?"

Maddow wondered about the discussion in McCarthy’s armored SUV as he was being whisked off to safety. “Do you think at one moment they were like, “I hope Bruce is okay. Yeah, we did just leave him,” she added.

“That’s the leader taking care of his members,” Maddow said sarcastically. She likened it to the old joke about how fast you have to run to avoid getting eaten by a bear: “Turns out you don't need to run that fast, just faster than your friend. Sorry, Bruce, good luck with the mob. Did you lock the toilet door?”

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