Ryan signals support for McCarthy as next GOP leader

Ryan signals support for McCarthy as next GOP leader
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A day after his retirement announcement, Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump vows to stand with House GOP '1,000 percent' on immigration Heckler yells ‘Mr. President, f--- you’ as Trump arrives at Capitol Hoyer: GOP centrists 'sold out' Dreamers MORE (R-Wis.) on Wednesday signaled support for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse GOP headed for showdown with DOJ over key documents The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Outcry raises pressure on GOP for immigration fix Hillicon Valley: Trump hits China with massive tech tariffs | Facebook meets with GOP leaders over bias allegations | Judge sends Manafort to jail ahead of trial | AT&T completes Time Warner purchase MORE (R-Calif.) as his successor. 

Ryan did so by saying that he was pleased that Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseTrump digs in amid uproar on zero tolerance policy Sunday Shows preview: Lawmakers, Trump allies discuss Russia probe, migrant family separation Dems best GOP as Scalise returns for annual charity baseball game MORE (R-La.) had endorsed McCarthy to succeed him.

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"I was encouraged that Scalise this morning said that he thinks after the election that Kevin McCarthy ought to be the person to replace me after the elections,” Ryan told reporters at his weekly news conference.

"What it shows you is that we have an intact leadership team that supports each other, that's all heading in the right direction,” the Speaker added.

In an appearance on Fox News, Scalise said he would not run against McCarthy but did not offer an endorsement.

“I wouldn't run against Kevin. He and I are good friends,” Scalise told Fox News.

Neither McCarthy nor Scalise has publicly said that they are running for the position, though many lawmakers expect both to do so.

Ryan stated Wednesday and again on Thursday that he has a preference for who should succeed him when he steps down from the speakership in January. But he has not made his preference public.

However, many interpreted his remarks Thursday as a sign that he preferred McCarthy, his top deputy, to replace him as leader of the GOP conference.

Ryan, McCarthy and then-Rep. Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election Scalise allies upset over Ryan blindside on McCarthy endorsement MORE (R-Va.) launched the House GOP's "Young Guns" agenda that helped propel Republicans back into the majority in the 2010 midterm elections.

And Ryan backed then-Rep. Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PricePress: Drain the swamp – of Scott Pruitt States must hold Trump to his word on working with them to solve ObamaCare Rick Perry's travel cost Energy Department ,560 during first 7 months in office: report MORE (R-Ga.) over Scalise in a short-lived campaign for majority leader in the leadership shake-up following Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerZeal, this time from the center Juan Williams: The GOP's deal with the devil Hillicon Valley: Trump hits China with massive tech tariffs | Facebook meets with GOP leaders over bias allegations | Judge sends Manafort to jail ahead of trial | AT&T completes Time Warner purchase MORE's (R-Ohio) resignation in October 2015.

Melanie Zanona contributed.