Former President Donald Trump on Friday publicly backed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bid for speaker of the House in the next Congress.

The 76-year-old former commander-in-chief also warned that GOP lawmakers opposing the California Republican are playing a “very dangerous game.” 

“Yeah, I support McCarthy,” Trump told Breitbart News during an interview from his Doral golf resort in Miami, Florida. 

“Look, I think this: Kevin has worked very hard,” Trump added. “He is just — it’s been exhausting. If you think, he’s been all over. I think he deserves the shot. Hopefully he’s going to be very strong and going to be very good and he’s going to do what everybody wants.”

Trump sounded the alarm over what he said would be a “doomsday scenario” if Republicans opposing McCarthy’s continued leadership in the House get their way, while noting that he is “friendly” with many of the lawmakers against McCarthy getting the speaker’s gavel. 

Kevin McCarthy
McCarthy is being opposed by five holdouts.
Michael Brochstein/ZUMAPRESS.com

​​“Now, I’m friendly with a lot of those people who are against Kevin. I think almost every one of them are very much inclined toward Trump, and me toward them. But I have to tell them, and I have told them, you’re playing a very dangerous game,” Trump said. “You could end up with the worse situation. I don’t even want to say what it is, but I could tell you it’s a worse situation. You could end up with some very bad situations.”

The former president then pointed to 2015, when members of the House Freedom Caucus pushed then-Speaker John Boehner out of office, and a fractured Republican Party replaced him with Paul Ryan – who Trump on Friday called, “an incompetent speaker” and a “disaster.”  

“You could end up with some very bad situations. I use the Boehner to Paul Ryan example. You understand what I’m saying? It could be a doomsday scenario. It could be. You could end up with somebody who would be a disaster like Paul Ryan was,” Trump said. 

“Think of it — we ended up with Paul Ryan. Boehner was like Winston Churchill compared to Paul Ryan,” Trump added. “Boehner wasn’t perfect — nobody’s perfect — but Paul Ryan was a disaster for the Republican Party. That’s what we got.”

Within his party, McCarthy is being opposed by five holdouts who he said on Friday “have not moved” their stances. 

Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), and Bob Good (R-Va.) have formed a coalition against McCathy’s speakership and plan to vote as a unit when McCathy’s nomination comes to vote next month in the new Congress, according to Axios

Republicans will take control of the lower chamber of Congress on Jan. 3 and House McCarthy needs to secure 218 votes to be elected speaker. 



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