Donald Trump still wields the biggest megaphone in the Republican Party.
And now Donald Trump had something he needed to say.
Donald Trump said four words that made the D.C. swamp’s life a living hell.
Kevin McCarthy failed to win the speaker’s gavel on three straight ballots.
The House of Representatives adjourned without choosing a speaker.
Conservatives blocked McCarthy from winning over concerns that McCarthy would serve the interests of the D.C. swamp and operate the House of Representatives under rules similar to those passed by Nancy Pelosi.
Donald Trump previously endorsed McCarthy for speaker of the House.
And many of Trump’s family members and closest allies in the media and conservative movement also supported McCarthy’s bid for speaker of the House.
“We all want House leadership to be as conservative as possible, but I’m not okay with throwing House Leadership to Dems & Never Trumpers. Being fine with Hakeem Jeffries becoming Speaker simply out of spite for McCarthy isn’t what any Republican voted for in November. Disaster,” Donald Trump Jr. wrote on Twitter after it became clear that McCarthy would not have the votes to become speaker of the House.
But everyone was waiting for Donald Trump to weigh in.
And Trump finally did during a phone interview with NBC News.
Trump backed away from his previous support for McCarthy only saying “we’ll see what happens.”
When I asked directly if he was sticking by McCarthy, who did not clinch the gavel today after three floor votes, Mr. Trump told me “we’ll see what happens,” and ended our conversation.
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) January 3, 2023
For his part, McCarthy expressed an optimism that few believed was grounded in any reality.
“Their whole plan was for me to [fail] on the second [round.] Remember their secret candidate? Their secret candidate nominated me. Where do they go now?” McCarthy told Punchbowl News about the effort to depose him.
But in reality, it was McCarthy that lost momentum.
Not only did Donald Trump fail to throw his full support behind McCarthy, but McCarthy saw more Republicans vote against him as the balloting went on.
Florida Republican Byron Donalds switched his vote from McCarthy to Jim Jordan on the third ballot explaining that it was clear McCarthy did not have the votes to become speaker of the House and that it was time to move on.
“The reality is Rep. Kevin McCarthy doesn’t have the votes,” Donalds began.
“I committed my support to him publicly and for two votes on the House Floor,” Donalds added. “218 is the number, and currently, no one is there.”
McCarthy losing votes as the balloting continues and Trump’s refusal to restate his support for McCarthy as the speaker of the House shows that McCarthy’s bravado about winning the election looks like empty bluster at this point.
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