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Trump refuses to say if he still backs Kevin McCarthy for House Speaker

Former President Donald Trump refused to say whether he still supports Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid for House speaker after the California Republican lost three straight votes Tuesday

“We’ll see what happens,” Trump, 76, told NBC News on Tuesday when asked if he still supported McCarthy to lead the House. 

“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,” the 76-year-old former president said. “That’s all I can say. But we’ll see what happens. We’ll see how it all works out.”

In December, Trump endorsed McCarthy’s speakership effort, telling Breitbart News that GOP lawmakers opposing McCarthy were playing a “very dangerous game.”

“Yeah, I support McCarthy,” Trump said last month. 

“Look, I think this: Kevin has worked very hard,” he 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.”

The former commander in chief said at the time that he worried of a possible “doomsday scenario” if opposition to McCarthy holds, such as a “worse” candidate taking the speaker’s gavel.

Former President Donald Trump said "we'll see what happens" when asked about Rep. Kevin McCarthy failing to gain enough votes to become the next Speaker of the House.
Former President Donald Trump said “we’ll see what happens” when asked about Rep. Kevin McCarthy failing to gain enough votes to become the next Speaker of the House.
AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

The House adjourned Tuesday evening after McCarthy failed to get the required number of votes to become House speaker on the first three ballots. 

Nineteen Republicans chose not to vote for McCarthy on the first two ballots and a 20th GOP lawmaker balked at voting for the Republican House leader on the third ballot. 

McCarthy could only stand to lose four Republican votes in his bid to replace former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). 

Trump endorsed McCarthy to be the next Speaker in December.
Trump endorsed McCarthy to be the next Speaker in December.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

All 212 Democrats in the lower chamber supported Brooklyn and Queens Rep. Hakeem Jeffries on all three ballots.

A fourth round of voting is expected to take place around noon Wednesday. 

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