Former President Trump last week said he has not endorsed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for Speaker of the House, saying he had endorsed him in just his reelection bid in California’s 20th Congressional District.
Speaking to conservative talk show host Wayne Allyn Root, Trump specified that he hasn’t endorsed McCarthy for Speaker should Republicans win the majority in the November midterm elections.
“No, I haven’t,” Trump said.
He later clarified that he was backing McCarthy for his reelection bid, saying, “No, I endorsed him in his race. But I haven’t endorsed anybody for Speaker.”
Last month, Trump issued an endorsement of McCarthy in his reelection race, calling him “strong and fearless” and added that he is an “outstanding representative for the people of California.”
The comments from the former president come as McCarthy, who is seen as the leading candidate to hold the Speaker’s gavel in a Republican-held House, was embroiled in controversy earlier this year.
The New York Times reported that the California Republican, during a call with GOP leadership on Jan. 10, 2021, said he would recommend to Trump that he resign from office.
McCarthy had denied that he had made those comments and called the report “totally false and wrong.” However, an audio recording of the conversation was later published, and McCarthy can be heard in it telling his colleagues that he was inclined to tell Trump, “I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign.”
McCarthy has said that he spoke with Trump twice and that the two had a “good conversation” about the recordings.
The former president also repeated his disproven claims to assert the 2020 election was stolen from him in the radio interview. He called the Jan. 6 committee hearings a “totally one sided kangaroo court” and a “witch hunt.”
Trump, who has been teasing a possible 2024 presidential bid, didn’t confirm if he would run again, but he told Root he was confident he would beat President Biden if he did.