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Tipsheet

Matt Gaetz Responds After Trump Continues Support for McCarthy

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla), who has publicly opposed McCarthy for House Speaker, said that his opinion on both Trump and McCarthy has not changed- adding that Trump’s call for Republicans to vote for McCarthy will also not change his mind. 

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“Sad!" Gaetz said in a statement on Wednesday night. “This changes neither my view of McCarthy, nor Trump, nor my vote.”

Gaetz has led several Republican members to throw their support behind Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for House Speaker. However, Jordan has said that he does not want the job, endorsing McCarthy for speaker.

On Tuesday, Gaetz sent a letter to the Architect of the Capitol asking why McCarthy was already occupying the Speaker’s office despite losing four rounds of voting. 

“I write to inform you that the Speaker of the House Office located in the U.S. Capitol Building is currently occupied by Rep. Kevin McCarthy,” Gaetz wrote. “As of this morning, the 117th Congress adjourned sine die, and a Speaker from the 118th Congress has not been elected… after three undeciding votes, no member can lay claim to this office.”

McCarthy reportedly criticized Gaetz for reportedly saying that he did not care if House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jefferies (D-NY) was elected in place of McCarthy. 

“They even came to the position where one Matt Gaetz said, ‘I don’t care if we got a plurality, and we elect Hakeem Jeffries,’” McCarthy said. 

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Meanwhile, on Wednesday night, Trump took to his Truth Social account to once again call on Republicans to vote for McCarthy. 

“Some really good conversations took place last night, and it’s not time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY,” Trump said in the post, adding “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 are now expected to vote behind closed doors. On Tuesday, Trump told NBC News that “we’ll see what happens” after four rounds of voting and a House Speaker has yet to be chosen.

“I got everybody calling me wanting my support. But let’s see what happens and we’ll go — I got everybody calling, wanting my support,” Trump added. “That’s all I can say. But we’ll see what happens. We’ll see how it all works out.”

Moments later he reiterated his calls for the GOP to support McCarthy. 

“Republicans, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT AND 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 added in his post. 

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Whether Trump can sway some of the votes to go in the direction to favor of McCarthy remains unclear as 20 Republicans voted against him for speaker after the third round of voting. 

19 members voted against him in the first and second rounds. 

McCarthy confirmed the former president’s support for him saying that he had talked to Trump on the phone who gave him his full support. 

“He thinks it’s better than all the Republicans get together and solve this, it doesn’t look good for Republicans, but we want to be able to solve it where we’re stronger in the long run,” McCarthy said after speaking to Trump, adding “where what we went through today, in the end, becomes a positive that we’re actually focused, united.”

There are only 222 Republicans in the House chamber so McCarthy can only lose four to reach the threshold required. 

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