Newly elected Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) thanked former President Donald Trump for his ardent support in the speaker’s race moments after he secured the post in the fifteenth vote.
“I do want to especially thank President Trump,” McCarthy told reporters. “I don’t think anybody should doubt his influence. He was with me from the beginning”:
WATCH: Newly-elected Speaker McCarthy thanks President Trump for his support.
"I do want to especially thank President Trump, and I don't think anybody should doubt his influence. He was with me from the beginning."
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) January 7, 2023
McCarthy mentioned that Trump made multiple calls to other members in support.
“Somebody wrote the doubt of whether he was there, and he was all in. He would call me, and he would call others. And he really was. I was just talking to him tonight, helping get those final votes,” McCarthy said.
“What he’s really saying, really for the party and the country: that we have to come together. We have to focus on the economy. We got to focus to make our border secure,” McCarthy concluded. “We got to do so much work to do [sic] and he was a great influence to make that all happen. So thank you, President Trump.”
McCarthy’s remarks about the many phone calls Trump made in support of him confirm Breitbart News reports about the crucial role Trump played in getting McCarthy across the finish line.
As Breitbart News reported:
Another source familiar with the matter indicated that Trump had been engaged in the process since early December, making phone calls throughout the month to whip votes and consolidate support behind McCarthy. These calls were not mere one-offs but included ongoing correspondences with many different lawmakers.
Trump’s involvement persisted throughout this week, including in talks last night and this morning ahead of the crucial breakthrough for McCarthy, according to the source.
On Friday night, he made calls to Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ), both of whom had voted against McCarthy for days, and told them that the matter needed to be resolved. Ultimately on the 15th round, they both voted “present,” helping to lower the vote threshold for McCarthy.
In addition, Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) reportedly tried to place Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) on a live phone call with Trump on Friday night moments after Rosendale voted against McCarthy on the unsuccessful fourteenth ballot.
Greene was photographed trying to hand her iPhone to Rosendale while it was on a live phone call with a contact named “DT,” which was later confirmed to be Trump.
“MTG was telling Rosendale she has Trump on her phone and he needed to talk to the former president right then,” Punchbowl News’s Heather Caygle reported. “Rosendale shouted repeatedly, ‘Don’t you ever do me like that!’”
Trump also issued several statements in support of McCarthy throughout the four days Congress took to elect McCarthy as speaker.
Trump posted the following message to his Truth Social account after the first day of failed voting:
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, & 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 & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!
Trump posted a congratulatory message after McCarthy was officially elected as speaker of the House.
“The ‘Speaker’ selection process, as crazy as it may seem, has made it all much bigger and more important than if done the more conventional way,” Trump said. “Congratulations to Kevin McCarthy and our GREAT Republican Party!”