APTOPIX Congress

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., left, and Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., right, speaks with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in the House chamber on Wednesday as the House meets for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington. Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Former president Donald Trump voiced fresh support Wednesday for Kevin McCarthy’s bid for House speaker, counseling fellow Republicans to “NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT.”

Writing mostly in capital letters on Truth Social, his social media site, Trump told House Republicans that “IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT.”

“Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!” Trump wrote.

McCarthy, a California Republican, fell short on three ballots Tuesday for House speaker. Twenty GOP opponents of a McCarthy speakership appeared unswayed by Trump’s previous endorsement.

“Some really good conversations took place last night, and it’s now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY, & WATCH CRAZY NANCY PELOSI FLY BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA,” Trump said.

Although former House speaker Nancy Pelosi is no longer in the Democratic leadership, she will remain a member of the House. She frequently bested Trump during his four years in office and displayed power over her caucus that McCarthy has been unable to match in the Republican conference.


Trump’s exhortation seemingly had little effect on McCarthy’s foes on Wednesday, as they voted against McCarthy in roughly the same numbers on two more ballots by midafternoon.

Ahead of the fifth vote, Republican Lauren Boebert said Trump called the defectors to tell them “they need to knock this off.” Boebert, among 20 Republicans who voted for Republican Byron Donalds, said Trump should do the opposite – call McCarthy and tell him he lacks the votes and should withdraw.

Trump and McCarthy have had an uneven relationship at best.

After a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, McCarthy said Trump was to blame and should resign, saying at one point, “I’ve had it with this guy,” according to an audio recording that was released in April.

The audio recording contradicted McCarthy’s claim that he did not want Trump to resign after the insurrection. McCarthy insisted that his remarks came as he “just walked through different scenarios” and that he “never thought that [Trump] should resign,” according to CBS News, even though McCarthy states in the audio that he was thinking about asking the president to resign.

Despite the condemnation, in late January 2021, McCarthy traveled to Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, where the two discussed the GOP’s efforts to retake the House and posed for a photo together.

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