House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday he's "lost confidence" in Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) during a moment of candor caught on a hot mic, a tape reviewed by Axios shows.
What he's saying: "I think she's got real problems," McCarthy told Steve Doocy off-air ahead of a live "Fox and Friends" interview. "I've had it with, ... 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."
- 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 6-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.
Why it matters: To date, McCarthy has left some of his more pointed criticisms to his lieutenants, but this firmly puts him on the record — even if it was accidental.
- Top Republicans told Axios' Jonathan Swan and Alayna Treene last week that Cheney could be removed within a month.