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Analysis: Kevin McCarthy is officially in Donald Trump’s doghouse


“‘I don’t understand why Kevin didn’t put anyone on the committee,’ Trump ​has recently ​griped to those around him, according to a GOP source with direct knowledge of the comments — a reference to … McCarthy’s decision to boycott the select committee after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two ​Republican members he originally chose to sit on the panel.”

Then on Thursday, Politico and The Washington Post both published stories making Trump’s disappointment with McCarthy clear.

Trump has said privately for months that McCarthy’s decision to pull pro-Trump Republicans from sitting on the Jan. 6 select committee was a mistake, one that has become clearer as Trump watches the hearings that are working to build the case that he should be criminally charged for conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election.”

And then there’s this from Politico:

“Now the mercurial former president’s dissatisfaction is spilling into view as Trump watches hearings that home in on his election subversion and his role in the attack with no friendly Republicans to combat or distract from the select panel’s presentation. Behind closed doors, some GOP lawmakers view Trump’s pique over their boycott of the committee as a sign that the Jan. 6 hearings are breaking through with the public. But McCarthy disagrees on both fronts.”

Just in case you missed ALL of those messages, Trump went out of his way in a recent interview with conservative talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root to make clear he hasn’t decided on whether to back McCarthy as speaker if Republicans retake the House majority this fall.

“I endorsed him in his race,” Trump said of McCarthy. “But I haven’t endorsed anybody for speaker.”

For McCarthy, Trump’s disloyalty is a bitter pill to swallow. After all, this is the same McCarthy who, after initially calling out Trump for his role in the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol, made a trip to Mar-a-Lago shortly afterward as a sort of penance. (They even posed for a photo to commemorate the day!)
In the wake of that trip, McCarthy changed his tune almost entirely on January 6. Of his call that day with Trump, which had been reported by CNN as “expletive-laced,” McCarthy said this in January 2022: “What I talked to President Trump about, I was the first person to contact him when the riots was going on. He didn’t see it. What he ended the call was saying — telling me, he’ll put something out to make sure to stop this. And that’s what he did, he put a video out later.”

Uh, ok.

The fact is that Trump may well hold the key to McCarthy becoming speaker of the House in 2023. If Trump withholds his endorsement — or even backs someone else — it becomes considerably more difficult for McCarthy to ascend to the top job. At the very least, the House Freedom Caucus might then actively work to keep the California Republican from being speaker. (Worth noting: This has already happened once to McCarthy. In the wake of John Boehner’s resignation in 2015, McCarthy was seen as the likely successor. But he failed to convince conservatives of his bona fides and wound up pulling out of the race. Paul Ryan eventually won the job of House speaker.)
McCarthy would do well to listen to the lessons of dealing with Trump from GOP Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, who lost a Senate primary runoff election earlier this week after Trump endorsed his opponent. (Trump had previously endorsed Brooks — and then un-endorsed him.)
Trump is not a “man of his word,” Brooks told Politico on Wednesday. He added that Trump has “no loyalty,” is not a “man of his word,” and doesn’t do anything unless it “enhances his wallet or his ego.”

Yeah, that about covers it.




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