An excerpt from former congresswoman Liz Cheney’s forthcoming book about the reason for Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) post-Jan. 6 visit to Mar-a-Lago left CNN anchor Jake Tapper a bit surprised Tuesday.
According to Cheney, McCarthy told her he went to see Donald Trump at his Florida residence on Jan. 28 because the former president was “really depressed” and “not eating.” By this time, the House had voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, and the Senate would begin its trial in a matter of days.
On The Lead, Tapper discussed that excerpt—and others—from Oath and Honor.
“First of all, that alone I find surprising, just because he’s a man of healthy appetites,” Tapper said of Trump, whose affinity for fast food has been well-documented. “I don’t mean that disparagingly.”
According to a memo released in June 2020 by the then-president’s physician, Trump weighed in at 244 points—passing the threshold of obesity given his height of 6 foot 3 inches.
In August, Trump self-reported his weight as 215 pounds when he was taken into custody at Georgia’s Fulton County Jail as a result of his RICO indictment. And a health report from his doctor earlier this month claimed the former president has lost weight “through an improved diet and continued daily physical activity,” but declined to provide a number.
Tapper continued: “But the idea that he would even try to peddle that malarkey to Liz Cheney, I find amazing,” he said.
Tapper then asked CNN correspondent Jamie Gangel what she found to be the “most surprising” element of Cheney’s book.
“I think actually it’s the number of stories like that. It is the hypocrisy. It is the duplicity. It’s [that] all of these things are being said in private, and they’re mocking Trump, and they’re saying, ‘Well, we just need to do this one last thing,’ or, ‘He’s not eating,’ or… ‘What I do for the Orange Jesus.’”
The book, a copy of which CNN obtained Tuesday, describes a Jan. 6 scene in the Capitol prior to the insurrection. Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), were being encouraged to sign their names on sheets objecting to the electoral college votes. “As he moved down the line, signing his name to the pieces of paper, Green said sheepishly to no one in particular, ‘The things we do for the Orange Jesus,’” Cheney wrote.
Cheney, who lost her re-election bid in 2022 after having made enemies in her party by serving on the House Jan. 6 Committee, also writes that McCarthy told her that Trump acknowledged his election loss.
“He knows it’s over,” McCarthy told her two days after Election Day, according to the book. “He needs to go through all the stages of grief.”
Additionally, Cheney describes how, in the aftermath of Jan. 6, a Republican colleague admitted to her that he believed that Trump had committed impeachable acts. However, this lawmaker was afraid that voting to impeach Trump would endanger his own family—an account that echoes what Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) recalled from that time, according to a recent biography.