Trump continues to support McCarthy


Former President Trump called on House Republicans to unite behind House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) for the Speakership, announcing early Wednesday that he is standing by McCarthy despite opposition from some hard-line members of the party.

Trump said in a Truth Social post that “some really good conversations” were held Tuesday night, and all House Republicans should vote for McCarthy, “close the deal” and “take the victory.” 

“REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!” he said.

Trump’s announcement comes after McCarthy said Tuesday night that the former president had reiterated his support for him. Trump declined to say whether he would still support McCarthy earlier Tuesday in an interview with NBC News.

The former president previously declared his support for McCarthy ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, but that was not enough for McCarthy to receive the requisite number of votes he needed to win the Speakership on Tuesday. All members of the 118th Congress were present and voting on Tuesday, requiring the winner of the Speaker contest to receive 218 votes.

McCarthy received more than 200 votes in each of the three ballots that were held Tuesday, but 20 Republican holdouts denied him victory. The House adjourned after the third ballot, and is scheduled to return at noon on Wednesday.

The opponents to McCarthy united around Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as an alternative on the second and third ballot on Tuesday. But Jordan has declared his support for McCarthy, making a speech on the House floor supporting him ahead of the second ballot.

If all members of the House vote for a candidate on Wednesday, McCarthy could only afford to lose four Republican votes and still win the race. Some of McCarthy’s most vocal opponents have generally been among the most loyal to the former president.

McCarthy made several concessions to those who have been skeptical of him as Speaker, but the opponents have said he has not gone far enough in meeting their conditions to give him their support.

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