Trump refuses to back McCarthy as House speaker vote continues

 January 4, 2023

Former President Donald Trump refused to back Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as House speaker, instead saying he'll wait to see how it works out.

The response was a strong contrast to Trump's previous support for McCarthy just weeks ago.

The response

"Former President Trump declined to say if he's sticking by his endorsement of Kevin McCarthy for speaker tonight, telling me in a brief phone interview he's had calls all day asking for support, and 'We'll see what happens. We'll see how it all works out,'" NBC News correspondent Garrett Haake tweeted.

"He added that Trump abruptly ended the conversation after saying he would see what happens, making his position known," the Washington Examiner reported.

"Trump had previously thrown his support behind McCarthy in November when he endorsed him for speaker," it added.

McCarthy's fight

McCarthy said on Tuesday night, however, that Trump continued to support him as the next House speaker.

“'Trump has already reiterated his support; I talked to him tonight,' McCarthy told reporters in the Capitol after emerging from a closed-door meeting with allies," the Hill reported.

"The former president threw his support behind McCarthy’s Speakership bid the night before the November midterm elections, handing the California Republican a key endorsement," it added.

What will happen?

The House began the process of selecting its speaker on Tuesday in its first session of the year. McCarthy did not receive enough votes during the first round to win.

In a second round, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) was nominated after he had nominated McCarthy. Neither person captured enough votes to win after a second and third vote.

The process will continue into Wednesday as the GOP seeks to find an answer that satisfies the party and keeps Democrats from taking power in the House. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) has received the votes of the left, supporting the party's new leader after Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stepped down from her leadership role.

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