Former President Donald Trump declined to re-up his endorsement of Kevin McCarthy to be Speaker of the House, hours after the Republican leader failed to win the gavel in three straight floor votes.
“We’ll see what happens. We’ll see how it all works out,” Trump told NBC News on Tuesday. He previously endorsed McCarthy in December, favorably comparing him to previous GOP Speakers Paul Ryan and John Boehner. Twenty Republicans voted against McCarthy on the third ballot, and the House adjourned shortly after.
EXCLUSIVE: 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.”
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) January 3, 2023
Five House Republicans, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale, Virginia Rep. Bob Good, and South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman, initially telegraphed their opposition to McCarthy. Trump urged them to get behind McCarthy, telling Breitbart News that the Californian “deserves the shot.”
“But I have to tell them, and I have told them, you’re playing a very dangerous game,” he said. “You could end up with the worse situation. I don’t even want to say what it is, but I could tell you it’s a worse situation,” Trump said at the time. (RELATED: Here’s What Ocasio-Cortez Told Matt Gaetz During Speaker Vote)
McCarthy’s failure to clinch the gavel on the first vote forced the House into a second Speaker ballot for the first time since 1923. During the second and third ballots, his opponents supported Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. The 2023 Speaker vote will be the ninth to go more than three rounds.