Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has long sought to become the next Republican Speaker of the House.
Viewed skeptically by more than a few conservatives, his ambitions have relied on the support of former President Donald Trump.
Over the weekend, Trump announced his support for the House Republican leader’s reelection on social media, helping McCarthy to clear the biggest hurdle in the path to the speaker’s office. (RELATED: What We Know About Trump’s New Social Media Network)
As The Hill reports:
In a post on social media site Truth Social, Trump said McCarthy is an “outstanding representative for the people of California.”
“In Congress, Kevin is a tireless advocate for the people of Bakersfield and the Central Valley. He is working incredibly hard to Stop Inflation, Deliver Water Solutions, and Hold Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi Accountable for their catastrophic failures and dereliction of duty,” Trump wrote. “Kevin McCarthy has my Complete and Total Endorsement.”
Trump’s endorsement comes after The New York Times leaked audio tapes in April showing McCarthy had discussed with other GOP lawmakers the possibility of telling the former president to resign if he were impeached for the Jan. 6, 2021 uprising at the U.S. Capitol.
McCarthy vigorously defended himself following the leak. In a meeting with the House Republican caucus, McCarthy told his colleagues that the circumstances compelled him to discuss every scenario with other Republican members of Congress in private.
The California Republican added that the tapes, recorded on Jan. 10, 2021, only included a portion of his remarks and were taken out of context.
McCarthy said in a speech one week after the riot that while he didn’t support impeachment, President Trump bore “responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.” (RELATED: Gaetz Squeezes McCarthy Following Newly Released Audio From Aspiring House Speaker)
He later walked back those remarks.
Trump admitted he “didn’t like the call” but appreciated McCarthy coming around, clarifying that their relationship remains solid, as The Hill noted.
“I think it’s all a big compliment, frankly,” Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “They realized they were wrong and supported me.”
A prolific fundraiser, McCarthy brought in over $30 million for his reelection campaign alone in the first quarter of 2022.