This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America's Future by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns:
In his eagerness to calm the waters in his own party, McCarthy had essentially resolved that there would be no further action or discussion related to January 6. Punishing Mo Brooks could only divide his party. Reiterating criticism of Trump would do the same. To McCarthy, even letting bad blood linger with the former president was starting to feel like an intolerable risk.
Trump had spent much of January in an incommonly quiet state, finally stripped of his office and, perhaps more painful for him, banned from social media platforms. Behind closed doors, Trump had menaced Republicans by chewing over the idea of starting his own party—a “Patriot Party”—and continuing to trash a long list of Republicans he saw as insufficiently committed to him. One of them was McCarthy, whom Trump had taken to calling a “pussy.”
Another officeholder might have been so enraged by the crude shot as to turn away from Trump permanently. But like many men Trump belittled, McCarthy responded not by defying the former president but by more or less setting out to prove him right.
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