• Rep. Adam Kinzinger said House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy was "scared and begging for help" on Jan. 6.
  • Jared Kushner also told the House panel McCarthy called him. He got the sense the lawmaker was "scared."
  • The comments came during the committee's eighth hearing on Thursday evening. 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a member of the January 6 committee, said during Thursday's hearing that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was "scared and begging for help" from former President Donald Trump during the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

"Leader McCarthy, who was one of the president's strongest supporters, was scared and begging for help. President Trump turned him down, so he tried to call the president's children," Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, said.

The January 6 committee also played testimony from several former Trump White House officials who said that McCarthy spoke to Trump on the phone as the violence unfolded at the Capitol and urged him to tell the rioters to stop.

Trump refused, prompting McCarthy to contact his daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, then-senior advisors to the president, according to testimony played by the January 6 committee. 

Kushner told the committee in an interview that McCarthy called him and said, "It was getting really ugly over at the Capitol."

"I don't recall a specific ask, just anything you could do," Kushner added. "Again, I got the sense that they were scared. ... That he was scared, yes."

The January 6 committee's eighth hearing on Thursday night showed evidence to support its argument that Trump repeatedly ignored pleas from his staff and allies to call off the violence at the Capitol as it unfolded. Besides McCarthy, several other prominent Republican figures pushed Trump to tell the rioters to go home, but the president did not immediately condemn the violence.

"President Trump did not fail to act during the 187 minutes between leaving the Ellipse and telling the mob to go home," Kinzinger said at the beginning of the hearing. "He chose not to act." 

A spokesperson for McCarthy did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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