Just In | The Hill
Former President Trump on Tuesday declined to say whether he will stick by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) as his bid to become Speaker appeared to hit a wall.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump told NBC News in a phone conversation when asked if he stands by his endorsement of McCarthy.
“I got everybody calling me wanting my support,” Trump told NBC. “But let’s see what happens and we’ll go — I got everybody calling, wanting my support. That’s all I can say. But we’ll see what happens. We’ll see how it all works out.”
Trump’s comments came after the House had adjourned for the day without electing a Speaker. Republicans hold 222 of the 434 seats that are filled in the House, but no lawmaker was able to hit the 218-vote threshold needed to become Speaker after three ballots.
The former president, who is an influential figure with many House Republicans, had previously urged those in the House unsure about McCarthy to rally behind the California Republican or risk ending up with a worse alternative.
But Trump’s sudden noncommittal stance could further imperil McCarthy’s chances as Republicans seek a way forward.
McCarthy lost 19 GOP votes on the first two ballots and 20 on the third ballot, leaving the conference in a stalemate. It marks the first time in a century that the House has gone to multiple ballots for Speaker. In 1923, the Speaker election took nine ballots over three days.
McCarthy’s opponents coalesced around Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a staunch Trump ally, but Jordan has said he is not interested in becoming Speaker.
McCarthy, who remained stoic on the floor during the long voting process even as it became obvious he would lose, remains adamant he will eventually win the gavel.
House, Donald Trump, House Speaker vote, Jim Jordan, Kevin McCarthy Read More
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