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Tag: trump coup

VIDEO: Flynn Jokes About Assassination While Brandishing Assault Rifle

Former Trump administration National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has made more than his fair share of disturbing, jaw-dropping remarks-- like telling the former guy he should impose martial law to hold a new election or suggesting a Myanmar-like coup at a QAnon conference in May. But he seemed to reach a new low when he joked about using a newly gifted assault rifle to carry out an assassination in the nation's capital.

"We were trying to come up with a rifle that we thought was appropriate for a general, so we went with an old-school Woodland camouflage...one of our top-quality guns," said Jason Parker, a gun company employee who gifted the weapon to Flynn.

"Maybe I'll find somebody in Washington, D.C.," Flynn replied, prompting an uproar of chuckles.

The disgraced Trump official made the chilling "joke" on Sunday at the Church of Glad Tidings in Yuba City, California while accepting what appeared to be a Woodland Camo AR-15 from the church

Flynn, a devout QAnon follower and retired Army general, has continued to raise eyebrows and the anxiety levels of Americans with his extremist comments since being pardoned by the former president.

Needless to say, Flynn's latest push for terrorism received ignominy from across the country.

Michael McFaul, former ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration, said:

Columnist David Weissman, a former U.S. Army vet and Trump supporter, had this to say:

Sarah Reese Jones of PoliticusUSA chimed in:

Military Chiefs Planned Joint Resignation To Thwart Trump’s ‘Gospel Of The Fuhrer’

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Previously released excerpts from I Alone Can Fix It, a new book by twoWashington Post reporters, indicated tension between members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Trump White House. However, additional material released by CNN takes this to a new and terrifying level. According to Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, senior military officers were so concerned that Donald Trump might drag the military into a coup, that they developed a plan to resign, one by one, rather than accept an order to take part in such a plot.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley appears to have been particularly concerned about the idea Trump might simply refuse to leave office, and that in his final days in power, he would use the military to carry out his schemes. Milley, who took part in Trump's Bible-waving stroll across Lafayette Square, was disturbed at how Trump inserted sycophants into key roles at the Pentagon following the election and saw this as a sign of an upcoming attempt to maintain power at the point of a gun.

According to the authors, Milley grew so concerned that he discussed the possibility not just with his friends, but with other generals and with members of Congress. "They may try, but they're not going to f**king succeed," Milley told his staff. "You can't do this without the military. You can't do this without the CIA and the FBI. We're the guys with the guns."

The book also indicates that Milley had specific concerns about Jan. 6. Trump's calls for supporters to come to D.C. for a "wild" event, and intelligence showing that militia members were planning to attend in numbers, left Milley fretting Trump was deliberately "stoking unrest" and that he was trying to create an incident that would justify the use of the Insurrection Act along with military force.

"This Is A Reichstag Moment"

Seeing Trump as a "classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose," Milley became convinced he'd seen this story before. With Trump calling for a "Million MAGA March" following his loss in November, Milley feared it "could be the modern American equivalent of 'brownshirts in the streets." In addition to referencing incidents in which Nazis had used violence to bring Adolf Hitler to power, Milley supposedly referenced the incident that Hitler had staged, then leveraged as a means of using violence against his enemies. "This is a Reichstag moment. The gospel of the Führer."

One of MIlley's colleagues, quoted anonymously, confirmed to him that "this is all real" and warned the general, "What they are trying to do here is overturn the government. ... You are one of the few guys who are standing between us and some really bad stuff."

The book's revelations show a last minute scramble at the White House, with Trump clutching at every conspiracy theory and working to put in place those who might go along with a scheme to defy the outcome of the election. According to the authors, Milley was instrumental in preventing Trump from replacing FBI Director Christopher Wray and CIA Director Gina Haspel, with Milley regarding both of those positions as pivotal to the success or failure of any coup.

According to the book, Trump's spiral into darkness was so severe that even Mike Pompeo came to Milley for a "heart to heart" talk in which he complained, "you know the crazies are taking over."

The incidents described in the book go beyond disturbing. They describe a nation well beyond the brink, with a White House actively working to position assets for an end of democracy and military leadership developing a pushback that was not at all certain of success. The revelations are terrifying enough that "shocking" seems an all-too-insubstantial term.

But there is one thing that isn't completely clear. Though the article states that the book developed from over a hundred interviews conducted by Leonnig and Rucker, it doesn't make clear when this information was known to them. If Washington Post reporters were aware in the final days of Trump's occupation of the White House, that he was plotting to keep control of the nation, shouldn't the nation have been made aware? And if there were reports that top military officials were convinced that Trump's actions following the election were intended to generate violence, shouldn't that information have been provided to case managers in Trump's second impeachment?

There are a number of upcoming books on the final awful days of Trump, and the revelations will continue. But the first question these books need to answer is why are we just hearing about this now?

‘If I Was Going To Do A Coup’: Trump’s Bizarre Response To Gen. Milley

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former President Donald Trump is not pleased with the reports about General Mark Milley's concern that he would attempt a coup after losing the presidential election to President Joe Biden. He lashed out at Milley in a bizarre new statement on Thursday, and it didn't take long for social media users to fire back at him.

In the statement, which included more than 400 words, the former president denied that he ever "threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government," describing the allegation as "So ridiculous!"

"Sorry to inform you, but an Election is my form of 'coup,'" Trump said, "and if I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley."

Trump's statement came shortly after excerpts of a forthcoming book were made public. The book, written by Washington Post writers Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, detailed Milley's alleged concerns and remarks about Trump's relentless push to overturn the presidential election. Christopher Miller, acting Defense secretary in the final days of Trump's term, has already publicly revealed that he was trying to avoid a coup in that period.

Milley likened Trump's rhetoric and falsehoods about the election to "the gospel of the Führer" and compared the former president's unwavering efforts to overturn the election as "a Reichstag moment" — referring to Adolph Hilter's 1933 attack on Germany's parliament building to solidify Nazi supremacy, according to Leonnig and Rucker's detailed report.

Trump's attempts to weaponize the military were also high on Milley's list of concerns. But despite Milley having legitimate concerns based on Trump's rhetoric and actions, the former president fired back with an insulting dig at Milley.

Taking a verbal jab at Milley's career and accolades, Trump claimed he only appointed the four-star Army general as Joint Chiefs chair "because the world's most overrated general, James Mattis, could not stand him, had no respect for him, and would not recommend him."

"To me," Trump said, "the fact that Mattis didn't like him, just like Obama didn't like him and actually fired Milley, was a good thing, not a bad thing. I often act counter to people's advice who I don't respect."

Trump's lengthy statement has caught the attention of lots of social media users. Some have even taken to Twitter to criticize the former president as they shared endless reasons why Milley's concerns were justified.

Democrats Must Begin Jan. 6 Investigation -- Now

Framing his diplomatic visit to Europe within a broader historical mission, President Joe Biden rightly warns us that authoritarians are eager for democracy to fail. He knows very well that democracy's enemies are active here as well as abroad. Now, he and the leadership of his party must act to fully expose the most overt assault on our system of self-government since the Nixon era.

Congressional Democrats should move swiftly, with Biden's support, to establish a select committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection.

Like many Americans, including Democrats, Republicans, and independents, the president previously expressed his preference for an independent bipartisan commission, empowered by Congressional legislation, to conduct that investigation. But that path was closed last month when Senate Republicans killed the January 6 commission bill that had already passed the House. They did so at the bidding of Donald Trump, the principal investigative target, and of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who articulated one of their more absurd arguments against the commission.

"I think we will know everything we need to know. We were all witnesses," he said. "We were right there when it happened and I simply think the commission is not necessary." When a shattering crime occurs and a major witness then insists that an investigation is "not necessary," suspicion immediately arises concerning that person's consciousness of guilt.

The devious McConnell has aimed to prevent or discredit an investigation of January 6 not because we "know everything we need to know," but because he's scared to death of what we will learn — about the former president and other members of their party. On Trump's orders, the minority leader instructed his caucus to vote down the commission, despite its perfectly bipartisan composition, its pre-midterm deadline and a host of other features demanded by House Republicans.

Of course, this isn't the first time that Republicans have tried to evade scrutiny of a national catastrophe for which they were culpable. The bill establishing a commission to investigate January 6 was modeled on the 9/11 Commission — but that probe itself was nearly killed by aides to President George W. Bush, who feared that he would be blamed for failing to curtail the al-Qaida plot.

Then-Vice President Dick Cheney made a threatening phone call in the spring of 2002 to Senator Tom Daschle, the Democratic majority leader, warning that any investigation of 9/11 would be seen as a partisan maneuver and a hindrance to the "war on terror." Cheney's intervention is ironic in hindsight since his daughter Liz is among the handful of Republicans who urge a thorough investigation of the Capitol insurrection.

Congress ignored Cheney's whining; Bush reluctantly signed the enabling legislation; and the 9/11 Commission discharged its duties honorably, issuing a report that escaped the "partisan" taint. Now, however, the Republicans have only themselves to blame for shutting down the option of an independent commission on which they would have shared equal authority with Democrats.

Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can and should create a select committee to investigate the events of January 6. With the House Republicans behaving as if nothing untoward happened that day, the select committee ought to operate with a Democratic majority and a tough chair who will dismiss obstruction and distraction from the minority. And unlike the commission that Republicans stupidly killed, it would have the power to issue subpoenas without their consent.

No doubt some Democrats in Congress, as well as the White House, fear that any investigation of January 6 will suffer from accusations of partisanship. In a moment of comical hypocrisy, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — who boasted about the partisan gains achieved by the Benghazi select committee in 2015 — has already leveled that charge against the bipartisan commission. Republicans are never more indignant than when they're faking it.

But who cares what McCarthy thinks anyway? What will matter in this investigation is an orderly, comprehensive, and undaunted finding of facts. It is indeed possible that such an investigation will benefit Democrats in the midterm elections and beyond. That's why Republicans want to stop it at all costs.

Too bad for them. Unearthing the truth about a violent assault on our Constitutional procedures — nothing less than an attempted coup d'etat — is a fundamental duty of Congress that cannot be evaded. Tempted by authoritarianism, the Republicans have chosen to dishonor their oath and cover up a crime against our country. There must be consequences for that, or we will forfeit our democratic heritage, perhaps forever.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Yes, ‘Madman’ Trump Believes He'll Be Back In White House By August

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Earlier this week, the New York Times' Maggie Haberman reported that Donald Trump expects to be "reinstated" as president by August — inspiring some Republicans to accuse her of making it up. But conservative journalist Charles C.W. Cooke, in an article for the National Review, writes that Haberman was not fear-mongering and that Trump really does believe he will be returning to the Oval Office this summer.

"Haberman's reporting was correct," Cooke writes. "I can attest, from speaking to an array of different sources, that Donald Trump does indeed believe quite genuinely that he — along with former Senators David Perdue and Martha McSally — will be 'reinstated' to office this summer after 'audits' of the 2020 elections in Arizona, Georgia and a handful of other states have been completed. I can attest, too, that Trump is trying hard to recruit journalists, politicians and other influential figures to promulgate this belief — not as a fundraising tool or an infantile bit of trolling or a trial balloon, but as a fact."

Republicans, according to Cooke, are making a mistake if they "downplay the enormity of what is being claimed."

"The scale of Trump's delusion is quite startling," Cooke writes. "This is not merely an eccentric interpretation of the facts or an interesting foible; nor is it an irrelevant example of anguished post-presidency chatter. It is a rejection of reality, a rejection of law, and, ultimately, a rejection of the entire system of American government. There is no Reinstatement Clause within the United States Constitution. Hell, there is nothing even approximating a Reinstatement Clause within the United States Constitution. The election has been certified, Joe Biden is the president, and, until 2024, that is all there is to it."

Cooke notes that the "cold, hard, neutral facts" show that the 2020 election was "absolutely not" stolen as Trump claims — and that there is no process, under the U.S. Constitution, for "reinstalling" a former president. Even if it could be proven that the election was stolen from Trump, the election is over and settled, and there's no way to redo it.

"American politicians do not lose their reelection races only to be reinstalled later on, as might the second-place horse in a race whose winner was disqualified," Cooke writes. "The idea is otherworldly and obscene. There is nothing to be gained for conservatism by pretending otherwise."

Conservative pundit Noah Rothman, in response to Cooke's article, slammed Trump as a "madman" on Twitter:

Another conservative commentator, Allahpundit, speculated about the motivations of those who are anonymously telling reporters about Trump's delusions:

Wacky Advisers Have Roped Trump Into Their QAnon Restoration Fantasies

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Former President Donald Trump reportedly believes that he will somehow return to office in the coming months, a belief that fits with claims from supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory and far-right message boards. And it appears to have come through his QAnon-connected orbit of advisers who have egged on his voter fraud grievances and who continue to suggest Trump can and should be reinstalled into office based on those false claims.

The New York Times' Maggie Haberman reported on June 1 that Trump "has been telling a number of people he's in contact with that he expects he will get reinstated by August." As Haberman noted, Trump's expectation has no basis in reality. But it echoes a claim that MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has pushed. Lindell -- who has been making false claims of voter fraud for months -- appeared on Steve Bannon's show War Room: Pandemic in March and said that "Trump will be back in office in August" based on supposed evidence of voter fraud. At the time, Lindell's baseless statement -- which he also made around that time on multiple shows -- was hyped by some QAnon supporters and on far-right message boards.

Other figures influencing Trump since last November have also claimed that Trump could somehow come back into office. Attorney Sidney Powell, appearing at a QAnon conference in Dallas on May 29, said that due to supposed voter fraud, Trump could be "reinstated" into office and President Joe Biden forced out of the White House.

The following day, at that same QAnon conference, former national security adviser Michael Flynn was asked why a military coup could not happen in the United States like it did in Myanmar. In response, he said, "No reason. I mean, it should happen here." Although Flynn later tried to walk it back, his statement echoed the widespread praise of the Myanmar coup among the QAnon community and its members' hope of a similar situation in the United States.

These three figures had not only advised Trump following the 2020 election, but they also have multiple other connections to QAnon. Lindell, who met withTrump in the days before Biden's inauguration, had at that time floated Trump using martial law to stay in office, a call that had been pushed by QAnon supporters. Lindell has also shared voter fraud conspiracy theories from the QAnon community, including content from 8kun, the message board site where the central figure of QAnon is based. Since Biden's inauguration, Lindell has associated with the hosts of a QAnon show, which he has appeared on and praised, and is apparently signing QAnon merchandise for auction. Lindell has also apparently offered "QAnon" as a promo code on MyPillow.

Powell and Flynn have even more explicitly promoted QAnon. Before speaking at the QAnon conference, Powell had repeatedly amplified QAnon influencers, tweeted QAnon language, and appeared on QAnon YouTube shows. Following the election, she cited Ron Watkins, the onetime administrator of 8kun, and other QAnon-connected figures and claims in her lawsuits seeking to overturn the election results in certain states.

Similarly, Flynn (whom Powell has represented) had taken a QAnon oath, signed books with the QAnon slogan "wwg1wga" (short for "where we go one, we go all"), helped sell QAnon merchandise, appeared on QAnon-supporting shows, and hung out with the same QAnon influencer Lindell has become friendly with. Flynn, like Lindell, also encouraged Trump to declare martial law after the election.

Before Biden's inauguration, Trump had floated making Powell a special counsel on election fraud and Flynn the director of the FBI or White House chief of staff.

But these three are also not the only people through whom QAnon theories were reaching Trump. Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne -- who has gone on multiple QAnon shows to push voter fraud claims and recently has associated with the same QAnon influencer Lindell and Flynn have associated with -- met with Trump post-election. And Lin Wood, a QAnon-supporting attorney who has falsely claimed that Trump is still president, had been aiding Trump's campaign post-election.

Fundamentally, this voter fraud orbit around Trump -- Lindell, Powell, Flynn, Byrne, and Wood -- is part of a pipeline from QAnon supporters and far-right message boards promoting the conspiracy theory that Trump will somehow come back into office. This theory has taken a variety of forms, including claims that Trump would be inaugurated as president on March 4 and/or that the military would install Trump back into office and throw out Biden, whether on a specific day or some day in the future. QAnon supporters have also pointed to and are involved with a supposed election audit in Arizona that they believe will result in Trump returning to the White House. Lindell, Powell, Byrne, and Wood have all been involved with that audit, and Trump in turn is reportedly "fixated" on it.

This pipeline between QAnon supporters and far-right message boards, this group of figures who have advised Trump, and Trump himself partly fueled his voter fraud grievances that helped lead to the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol. And now it threatens to further ensnare Trump -- and in turn, much of the Republican Party and the voting public.

Fox News Is A Loaded Gun Aimed At Our Democracy

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

The Republican Party, Fox News, and the broader right-wing disinformation apparatus that revolves around them have responded to Donald Trump's 2020 defeat by institutionalizing his lie that the election was stolen and laying the groundwork to rig the next presidential election in favor of the GOP.

Fox is a primary source of information for the party's voters and a key Republican power base. That would make the network crucial to the future success of an anti-democratic GOP plot, just as it was when Trump tried to overturn the election in 2020. And Fox's propagandists appear eager to try again in 2024, relentlessly casting doubt on the 2020 results while helping to push out Republicans who refuse to support the party's authoritarian turn.

They are positioning the country on the brink of the abyss. Next time, political conditions may prove favorable enough to end the American experiment in electoral democracy.

Trump Tried A Coup In Broad Daylight — And Fox Had His Back.

Fox spent decades stoking the right's anti-democratic attitudes. Its commentators relentlessly highlighted and exaggerated extremely rare instances of voter fraud, priming their audiences to believe that Democrats were constantly trying to steal elections. They traditionally used those conspiracy theories to promote policies that make it more difficult to vote -- particularly for core Democratic demographics.

But Trump's authoritarian drive shifted that coverage in a more dangerous direction.

The then-president spent the months leading up to the election baselessly warning that the vote had been "rigged" by Democrats planning to "steal" it through mail-in voting, and his Fox propagandists echoed his conspiracy theories. This paved the way for the Trump campaign's despicable back-up plan: if Trump did not win key swing states outright, he would try to have the courts, under false pretenses, throw out enough legally cast ballots to change the results. (The disproportionate weight the U.S. political system gives to rural white voters, a Republican constituency, ensures that the party can carry the presidency without trying to appeal to a majority of voters.)

Election Day came, and Trump lost. But he nonetheless declared victory, falsely alleging massive fraud even as experts and officials said the election was remarkably free of election security problems. His legal team uncorked a ludicrous collection of lies and unhinged fantasies about the election, only to see judges repeatedly demolish their arguments and toss their cases. But it quickly became clear that Trump's team had a back-up plan to the back-up plan -- and it was providing cover for GOP partisans in states Biden had won. They hoped that even after legal avenues were exhausted, Republican election officials would refuse to certify results in key areas, that GOP state legislators in those states would overturn the results, and that GOP members of Congress would hand Trump the election. And they'd be able to point to the confusion Trump's legal team had created as their reason.

That seditious conspiracy to shatter the American democratic system relied on the impermeability of the right-wing information bubble. Trump needed his supporters, many of whom get their information almost solely from the elaborate disinformation network of partisan media outlets that Republican leaders propped up in place of mainstream outlets, to believe that the election had been rigged against him.

Fox and its associates did everything they could to support Trump's autocratic maneuvers. In the two weeks after media outlets called the race for Biden, Fox personalities questioned the results of the election or pushed conspiracy theories about it nearly 800 times. They put the credibility of the network behind deranged lies about fraud plucked from the internet fever swamps, beaming batshit fantasies out to a huge national audience. It worked -- polls following the election showed a majority of Republicans believed that the election was stolen from Trump.

Fox in denial of 2020 election results www.youtube.com

But hosts, contributors, and guests went further than simply lying to their viewers -- they pushed for action. They attacked Republican state officials for being insufficiently committed to Trump's scheme; called for the arrests of election workers; suggested that Republican state legislators in states Trump lost should "appoint a clean slate of electors" who support him; promoted fake Trump electoral slates for supposedly keeping Trump's "legal options open"; suggested a "do-over" election as "the only remedy"; called for congressional investigations; endorsed a lawsuit by Republican state attorneys general asking the Supreme Court to throw out results in four states Biden won; urged Republican governors not to certify unfavorable results; and denounced Republican members of Congress for "destroying the Constitution" by voting to count the electoral votes.

Fueled by these conspiracy theories, thousands of Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol on January 6 in an effort to prevent Congress from counting the electoral votes. They were lied to, they believed the lies, and they violently stormed a seat of governance in hopes of overturning the election.

Trump's plot failed. Biden won the Electoral College by too many states, and by too large a margin in those states; Democrats held the House of Representatives and some key state offices; and enough Republican officials refused to participate in Trump's election theft to thwart it. But the Republican base has been primed to question the results of any future elections the party loses -- and if there's another push for an antidemocratic solution in 2024, there's no telling whether those conditions will still hold.

Republican Leaders And Fox Personalities Want To Try Again

The dominant faction of GOP politicians -- including Trump himself -- continue to brazenly lie about the election results and the insurrection provoked by those lies. Those who criticize the party's authoritarian turn are being censured and purged from positions of power, while those who cast doubt on the election's validity are promoted. In states across the country, its partisans are changing voting laws in hopes of suppressing enough Democratic voters to win in the Electoral College.

If that fails, the party is preparing an alternative path to the presidency: It is building the political will to prevent the certification and counting of valid electoral votes and removing GOP officials who refused to take those steps in 2020. If a scheme like that were to succeed, legitimate election processes in the United States would become meaningless.

Fox's propagandists are getting ready. They are cheering on the GOP's purges of officials insufficiently committed to authoritarian rule in the U.S. They are validating and valorizing the Capitol insurrectionists as patriots simply "there to support the president of the United States and defend our republic" rather than a collection of extremists. They are falsely claiming that Democratic pro-democracy legislation before Congress would "destroy the credibility of all future elections," while defending Republican efforts to restrict voting rights in the states.

At the same time, they are promoting dire warnings about the radicalism of the Biden administration and its allies that would seem to legitimize virtually any action taken by Republicans to regain power. Under the apocalyptic portrait of the future painted by host Tucker Carlson, the face of the network, for example, the "abrupt change" the Democrats are supposedly pushing may force the right to support fascism.

And they are continuing to raise doubts about the validity of the 2020 election. On Fox over the last week alone, network contributor and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich claimed that there's "no question" states were "stolen" from the former president; contributor and Trump daughter-in-law Lara Trump promoted the "views of most Republicans" that there remain "a lot of questions about this election"; and Carlson asserted that "so many people are lying at such high volume about the 2020 election, it's hard to know exactly what happened," while introducing a Fox contributor to discuss her forthcoming book about the election, which is titled Rigged.

It's working.



Here's Where This Is Going

Republican voters are terrified at the prospect of continued Democratic control of the presidency. They are predisposed not to accept the results of the 2024 election as legitimate if their party's nominee loses. And they are primed to demand Republican politicians ensure a victory by any means necessary.

It's easy to imagine Fox teaming up with GOP leaders to try the 2020 playbook all over again if the party's nominee loses at the ballot box. The nominee simply needs to refuse to admit defeat, baselessly allege widespread voter fraud, and count on Fox to surface and distribute enough internet conspiracy theories to give party officials cover to overturn the results.

Fox and the Republican Party demolished all the guardrails in 2020, showing that they were willing to overturn the results of a legitimate election when it didn't go their way. The only question remaining is whether they can do a better job executing their plan.

Hot Mic Catches House GOP Leader Whining About Liz Cheney

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

In light of how arch-conservative Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming is, it's ironic to hear far-right Trump supporters describe her a RINO: Republican in Name Only. But Cheney, in the minds of former President Donald Trump's devotees, committed an unpardonable sin when she called for his impeachment following the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building.

Cheney hasn't backed down since then, much to the frustration of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — who, Axios' Kadia Goba reports, was heard railing against her when he was off the air during an appearance on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" this week.

Axios, according to Goba, has obtained a recording of McCarthy speaking to Fox News' Steve Doocy off the air — and the House minority leader said of Cheney, "I think she's got real problems.... I've had it with her. You know, I've lost confidence.... Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place."

McCarthy has been urging Cheney to tone down her anti-Trump comments, but she has continued to make her feelings known and make it clear that she still holds the former president responsible for the January 6 insurrection.

Axios journalists Jonathan Swan, Glen Johnson and Alayna Treene recently reported that Cheney, according to sources, is in danger of being ousted from her current position in the U.S. House of Representatives — where she is the third highest-ranking Republican.

Goba said of McCarthy's comments to Doocy about Cheney, "The comments, made amid seeming cross-talk with his host, outlined how the House conference chair could be removed by a vote from the chamber's Republican members. McCarthy's comments contrasted from the nearly six-minute, on-air interview, where he told Doocy he'd heard members concerned about Cheney's ability to carry out her job as a party leader."