45th President Donald Trump is standing by Kevin McCarthy for his pick as House Speaker, arguing that if Republicans are going to “fight” someone, it should be Mitch McConnell.
Rep. McCarthy failed to gain the nomination for House Speaker on Tuesday, despite Republicans having a majority. McCarthy lost three votes on the House floor, after a band of around 20 America First representatives blocked him from getting the 218 votes he needed. This is the first time since 1923 that the Speaker election has needed more than one round of voting.
Despite losing three times, Trump stood by McCarthy on Wednesday morning. “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 posted on Truth Social.
“REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT,” he added. “Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!”
President Trump weighs in on House Speaker vote ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/H0xHhrC43q
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) January 4, 2023
Trump then suggested that if Republicans were going to fight someone, “we ought to be fighting Mitch McConnell and his domineering, China loving BOSS, I mean wife, Coco Chow.”
The 45th President said that the harm McConnell and his wife Elaine Chao “have done to the Republican Party is incalculable.”
TRUMP: "If Republicans are going to fight, we ought to be fighting Mitch McConnell and his domineering, China loving BOSS, I mean wife" pic.twitter.com/dUQhPR4YMw
— Valiant News (@ValiantNewsLive) January 4, 2023
The Senate Minority Leader is currently taking a trip and other politicians to Kentucky, as part of a “bipartisan show of support” to help kick off 2023, including visiting a “major project” that Biden’s 2021 infrastructure bill helped fund. Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Biden said he and McConnell had been “friends a long time.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of the leaders of the anti-McCarthy faction, said it was “sad” that the former President had continued to show his support for McCarthy, despite his then-three defeats. “This changes neither my view of McCarthy, nor Trump, nor my vote,” he told Fox News.
Gaetz claimed on Wednesday morning that McCarthy was “losing it”, reportedly texting one of the 20 Congressional rebels that he is “ready to fund an endless war,” with Gaetz joking that this would be in “addition to Ukraine.”
McCarthy is losing it.
He texted one of my colleagues who didn’t vote for him:
“I am ready to fund an endless war”
I’m assuming this is in *addition* to Ukraine.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) January 4, 2023
Following Trump’s statement on Wednesday, the House met again, with McCarthy losing a historic fourth bid for Speaker. Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida was selected as the first anti-McCarthy candidate, after he was the only House member to shift their allegiance away from McCarthy on Tuesday.