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Former President Donald J. Trump has finally broken his silence on the heated struggle to find a new Speaker.
He urged the GOP to “take the victory and watch crazy Nancy fly back home” but electing Kevin McCarthy as the next Speaker of the House.
McCarthy has fallen short in six straight votes over two days. A group of 20 conservatives will not back down in their refusal to back him.
Trump said in a statement, “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, close the deal, take the victory.”
“And watch crazy Nancy Pelosi fly back home to a very broken California, the only speaker in U.S. history to have lost the “house” twice. Republicans, do not turn a great triumph into a giant and embarrassing defeat.”
Fox News interviewed Matt Gaetz, one of the 20 members who refuse to back him. They asked him if Trump’s statement changed his mind at all.
Fox News reported:
Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican congressman-elect who rose to prominence under former President Trump’s wing, went rogue after the former president endorsed GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy of California for House Speaker.
Gaetz told Fox News Digital that Trump’s endorsement of McCarthy for speaker has not changed the congressman’s view on the former president or GOP leader, nor has swayed his vote.
“Sad!” Gaetz said in a Wednesday statement. “This changes neither my view of McCarthy nor Trump nor my vote.”
Gaetz is joined by 19 other representatives who will not back down:
- Rep. Andy Biggs
- Rep. Dan Bishop
- Rep. Lauren Boebert
- Rep. Josh Brecheen
- Rep. Michael Cloud
- Rep. Andrew Clyde
- Rep. Eli Crane
- Rep. Bob Good
- Rep. Paul Gosar
- Rep. Andy Harris
- Rep. Anna Paulina Luna
- Rep. Mary Miller
- Rep. Ralph Norman
- Rep. Andy Ogles
- Rep. Scott Perry
- Rep. Matt Rosendale
- Rep. Chip Roy
- Rep. Keith Self
- Rep. Byron Donalds
These representatives claim that McCarthy is insufficiently conservative and say he has failed to make certain assurances about rules changes that would decentralize power in the House.
Alternative speakers put forward include Rep. Jim Jordan, Rep. Byron Donalds, and Rep. Andy Biggs.
A false statement was circulating that Trump endorsed Byron Donalds, instead of McCarthy.
“I have always supported Byron Donalds, have consistently endorsed him for Congress and, in fact, feel that I was a primary reason he entered politics in the first place. He is a young man with a great future,” Trump said on Truth Social.
“With that all being said, the story and statement that was just put out that I endorsed Byron for Speaker of the House is fake and fraudulent. He will have his day, and it will be a big one, but not now.”
Democrats were united in their support for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., to be the next Speaker of the House.
The House will continue voting Thursday until a new speaker is elected.