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Trump urges GOP to support McCarthy for speaker

McCarthy is the first speaker candidate in a century to lose the vote from his own party.

Published: January 4, 2023 7:06am

Updated: January 4, 2023 8:29am

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged Republicans to vote for Rep. Kevin McCarthy to be House speaker even after 20 Trump allies defected from the party to vote against the California Republican.

"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," Trump wrote on Truth Social one day after McCarthy lost three bids to become speaker.

"CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY ... DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT," Trump wrote. "Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB - JUST WATCH!"

The former president also said that if the GOP is going to clash, then they should be fighting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his wife, former Trump Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. "The harm they have done to the Republican Party is incalculable," Trump said.

Trump, who said last month that McCarthy "deserves the shot" to be speaker, declined to tell NBC News on Tuesday whether McCarthy still had his support.

"We'll see what happens," Trump said Tuesday. "We'll see how it all works out."

In three rounds of the full House voting Tuesday, McCarthy failed to get enough votes to become speaker, with as many as 20 from his conference, essentially from its most conservative wing, not endorsing him. Voting resumes Wednesday.

McCarthy in failing to secure the votes became the first speaker candidate in a century to lose the vote from his own party.

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