Former President Donald J. Trump made a direct appeal to House Republicans on Wednesday to support Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California as speaker, after Mr. McCarthy lost three straight votes to the post amid a hard-led right-wing insurgency from some of the most loyal allies in Congress.
“Some really good conversations took place last night, and it is now time for all of our GREAT Republican House members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, MAKE THE DEAL, TAKE VICTORY,” wrote Mr. Trump, who is running for president , on his website , Truth Social.
On Tuesday, as the California Republican suffered a humiliating defeat on the House floor, Mr. Trump had refused to repeat his endorsement of Mr. McCarthy, telling NBC News’ Garrett Haake: “We’ll see what happens.” happens.”
Mr. Trump and Mr. McCarthy then spoke to each other Tuesday night, after the embarrassing once-in-a-century debacle on the House floor and after Mr. Trump made his tepid remark on NBC.
After the conversation, Mr. Trump came out with a more forceful statement reiterating his support for Mr. McCarthy, though still tempering his praise.
“REPUBLICANS, DON’T MAKE A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A HUGE AND EMBARRASSING DEFEAT,” he wrote. “IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT. Kevin McCarthy will do well, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!
Whether Mr. Trump can influence enough of the holdouts opposing Mr. McCarthy is an open question, and one that will test Mr. Trump’s continued influence over the House Republican conference, one wing of which is embracing his image. has formed as he embarks on his third presidential campaign.
Despite Mr. Trump’s previous support for Mr. McCarthy and his attempt to win votes for him before the speaker’s vote, 20 Republicans still voted against Mr. McCarthy. McCarthy’s most aggressive opponent, Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz, is also one of Mr. Trump’s most loyal allies in Congress. Mr Trump’s support for Mr McCarthy has not dampened his opposition.